First appeared in The New York Times Dec 21, 2019
Recently I have been forced to think a bit about happiness. It’s not something I’ve done before. I have been too busy living. But when an interview with me appeared in The Sunday Times under the headline “Why ‘This Is Happiness’ Author Niall Williams Is Happily Out of Step,” I began to realize that it was not just me but the idea of happiness itself that was out of step with the times, and that it required some mental adjusting, not to say daring, to say aloud the title of my novel.