Alice Pung Willy Lit Fest web_MG_9179

On Happiness: New Ideas for the Twenty-First Century: Deborah Pike, Tony Moore, Alice Pung & Ranjana Srivastava

It was indeed a coup to secure four of the distinguished authors of this collection of 15 essays on one of humanity’s central preoccupations for millennia. What is happiness and should we pursue it? What does it mean, if anything, in a world so often given over to conformity, materialism and self-preoccupation, all in the name of ‘happiness’?

From vastly different backgrounds, the participants – a medical oncologist, a literary academic, a writer and a cultural historian – offered the packed audience a range of ideas to help unpack this almost impossibly complex topic. They were a stimulating bunch, and so too was the audience.

Questions and comments came thick and fast, responded to with thoughtfulness and honesty by the speakers – no slick answers from this lot! Discussion could have gone on for at least another hour and widespread satisfaction was expressed at the end of a rich and thought-provoking session.

Lis Grove

On happiness web_MG_9173

Photo – Deb Winfield