Human Happiness


"The last time I talked to my mother, she announced that she hated my father."

So begins Brian Fawcett’s compelling new book about happiness and a new way of looking at family.

A public intellectual who will shame the devil in the interests of truth, Brian Fawcett has staunchly refused to buy into the prevailing techno-corporate ethos that defines our culture today. With Human Happiness, Fawcett has taken another leap into unexplored territory. Where previously Fawcett has explored such topics as globalization and the role of the media, this time he turns the lens inward to search for the meaning of happiness by examining the mysteries of marriage and family.

Featuring prose that is often painfully candid and frequently laugh-out-loud funny, Human Happiness is a story-driven narrative centered around the seemingly happy marriage between Fawcett’s parents, about how families really work (or don’t), about the intergenerational conflicts that seem inevitable between headstrong fathers and sons, and how old hostilities can poison and distort through generations and – in extraordinary cases – can be resolved.

For 25 years now, Brian Fawcett has been Canada’s most unconventional writer and public intellectual, a man Paul Quarrington described as our literature’s enfant terrible and eminence gris rolled into one. His true gift is for making readers laugh while raising the most fundamental questions that face us. He might be Canada’s most original writer.


To remember such an incident and recall it in such plain and serviceable language is a light shining in the darkness.

National Post

...Fawcett delivers a redemption that opens itself to every one of us. I cried when I finished Human Happiness. And then I read it again.

Barbara Gowdy, author of Helpless and The White Bone

This is a funny, intimate and honest story of painfully real people who lived with as much fulfilment as most human beings ever expect or hope for.

The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, author of Heart Matters and

...thoughtful and beautifully written...a profoundly moving reading experience.

Quill & Quire

Human Happinessis a powerful book with implications for philosophy, medical ethics and sociology. Without preaching, it throws lights, without any direct intention to do so, on the topic of the duties of sons and daughters toward aging parents in failing health. It is, in addition, a way to contemplate what constitutes a meaningful life... I highly recommend it.

Over the Edge

About the Author

Brian Fawcett

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014
Brian Fawcett photo

Brian Fawcett

Brian Fawcett is the author of more than twenty books. He is a past editor of Books in Canada, a former columnist for the Globe and Mail, has written articles and reviews for most of Canada’s major newspapers and magazines, and is a founding editor of the internationally followed Internet news service, Fawcett was born and raised in Prince George, B.C. and now lives in Toronto.