Author(s): Ruth Whippman
"Essential reading. So funny, so relevant, so fascinating ...I loved it". (Marian Keyes). "A whip-sharp British Bill Bryson". (Sunday Times). When British journalist Ruth Whippman moved to America it seemed that everyone she met was obsessed with one thing: finding happiness. Americans spend more money and energy on becoming happier than anyone on earth, but yet they are some of the least happy people in the developed world. So Ruth sets off on a journey to work out what's going wrong, and most importantly what lessons we can all learn about what truly makes for a happy life. From nearly falling apart during a controversial self-help course promising total transformation, to investigating a 'happiness city' in the Nevada desert, spending time with the Mormons in Utah to exploring the darker truths behind the positive psychology movement, Ruth tries it all. Along the way she stumbles upon a more effective, less anxiety inducing path to contentment.
"I LOVED this book. I found it SO WELL WRITTEN, so witty and funny and reading it I was often envious of Ruth Whippman's facility with language. It is a hugely engaging read, accessible and so relevant ... I really, really, really, really enjoyed it and am quite evangelical about it." -- Marian Keyes, author of THE WOMAN WHO STOLE MY LIFE "Like Bill Bryson, Whippman has a willingness to play up cultural differences to comic effect ... She also has Bryson's sharp ear for language ... With warm wit and chilling logic, The Pursuit of Happiness shows that the human desire for contentment can be manipulated and distorted until it is barely recognisable ... A whip-smart British Bill Bryson." Sunday Times "Wry and often hilarious ... Whippman takes readers on an engaging and perceptive personal romp through the $10 billion happiness industry, and, along the way, shreds much of the 'science' that happiness is both an individual responsibility and a solo endeavour. A great - and important - read." -- Brigid Schulte, author of New York Times Bestseller OVERWHELMED: WORK, LOVE & PLAY WHEN NO ONE HAS THE TIME "She writes with a light touch ... Her conclusions are amusing and offer a useful commentary on this age of materialism and gloating." The Times "Ruth Whippman manages the trick of being funny about what is, deep down, a serious problem" -- Oliver Burkeman, Guardian columnist and author of THE ANTIDOTE: HAPPINESS FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN'T STAND POSITIVE THINKING "If you're on a quest for happiness, you want to start with buying this book. Wit, wisdom, and the kind of analysis only a Brit could bring to the topics of anxiety and contentment ... I laughed my way through it." -- Linda Tirado, author of HAND TO MOUTH: LIVING IN BOOTSTRAP AMERICA "With insight and intellect, Whippman brings a fresh perspective to American culture that is almost impossible to find in today's positivity-at-all-costs ethos ... a vibrant, hilarious, necessary book." -- Tara Conklin, author of New York Times bestseller, THE HOUSE GIRL "Ruth Whippman cuts to the heart of America's obsession with happiness - and the strange and wonderful things we do to obtain it ... a funny, timely book that everyone should read" -- Jessica Valenti, author of FULL FRONTAL FEMINISM AND SEX OBJECT
Ruth Whippman is a British writer, journalist and documentary film-maker. Before moving to the US in 2011, she produced and directed numerous documentaries and current affairs programmes for the BBC. Her essays and comment pieces have appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, the Independent and the Huffington Post amongst other places. She lives in California with her husband and two young sons. This is her first book.