I Married You for Happiness

I married you for happiness is a brief and complex work combining happiness and grief. It centers in the bedroom shared by Nina and Philip. "His hand is growing cold; still she holds it." We spend 24 hours with Nina as she grieves at the sudden death of her husband after 43 years of marriage. It is a poignant goodbye, full of memories of the past.

Although there are many sad moments, there is much sweetness in the memories. There is also much of art (Nina is an artist) and of mathematics (Philip is a mathematician). All is told in brief sentences, brief paragraphs, which create a clear, crisp sense of place, of time, of Nina, Phillip, their daughter Louise, of the other people in their lives. The ending of the book is exquisite and encapsulates the entire work, which is a simple, yet elegant tribute to the complexities of a marriage.

Lily Tuck is the winner of the National Book Award in 2004 for The News from Paraguay.

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