book cover of Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain

Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain

(2012)
A collection of stories by

 
 
A stunning debut from an award-winning poet.

Populating a small town in the Pacific Northwest, the characters in Lucia Perillo's story collection all resist giving the world what it expects of them - and are surprised when the world comes roaring back.

An addict trapped in a country house becomes obsessed with vacuum cleaners and the people who sell them door-to-door. An abandoned woman seeks consolation in tales of armed robbery told by one of her fellow suburban housewives. An accidental mother struggles to answer her daughter's badgering about her paternity. And in three stories readers meet Louisa, a woman with Down syndrome who serves as an accomplice to her younger sister's sexual exploits and her aging mother's fantasies of revenge.

Together, Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain is a sharp-edged, witty testament to the ambivalence of emotions, the way they pull in directions that often cancel one another out or twist their subjects into knots. In lyrical prose, Perillo draws on her training as a naturalist and a poet to map the terrain of the comic and the tragic, asking how we mark the boundaries between these two zones. What's funny, what's heartbreaking, and who gets to decide?

Lucia Perillo has published five books of poetry and a collection of essays. Her book Inseminating the Elephant won the Bobbitt Prize and was a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain is her first work of fiction. She lives in Olympia, Washington.



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Used availability for Lucia Perillo's Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain

Hardback Editions

May 2012 : USA Hardback
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Title: Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain: Stories
Author(s): Lucia Perillo
ISBN: 0-393-08353-5 / 978-0-393-08353-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

May 2013 : USA Paperback
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Title: Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain: Stories
Author(s): Lucia Perillo
ISBN: 0-393-34546-7 / 978-0-393-34546-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

July 2012 : USA Audio CD
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Title: Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain
Author(s): Lucia Perillo
ISBN: 1-4708-2379-9 / 978-1-4708-2379-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


July 2012 : USA Audio CD
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Title: Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain
Author(s): Lucia Perillo
ISBN: 1-4708-2380-2 / 978-1-4708-2380-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


July 2012 : USA MP3 CD
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Title: Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain
Author(s): Lucia Perillo
ISBN: 1-4708-2381-0 / 978-1-4708-2381-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 2012 : USA Audio edition
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Title: Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain: Stories
Author(s): Lucia Perillo
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Availability: Amazon   


June 2012 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain: Stories
Author(s): Lucia Perillo
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

May 2012 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain: Stories
Author(s): Lucia Perillo
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA