The characters in Happy Like This are smart girls and professional women who search for happiness in roles and relationships that are often unscripted or unconventional. In the midst of their ambivalence about marriage, monogamy, and motherhood and their struggles to accept and love their bodies, they look to other women for solidarity, stability, and validation. Sometimes they find it; sometimes they don’t. Winner of The John Simmons Short Fiction Award.
... wrestles with the idea that a central struggle of humanity is to fit in while also standing out — to be normal, but not ordinary. This theme can be found on every page, though I wouldn’t say any two stories are alike ... Wurzbacher deploys her encyclopedic command of various ideas, regions, professions and lexicons with the authority of seasoned masters like Adam Johnson. This is a writer at the top of her game; but hopefully she’s only just getting started.
The private, intimate stories of Ashley Wurzbacher’s Happy Like This navigate deciphering oneself with impeccable logic. Unfastening and opening the shell around each narrator’s heart, answers hang over the collection, both banner and pall ... The relationships within stories are varied and riveting ... Full of the strange ordinariness of relating, Happy Like This hits a nerve, vital and bewitching.
... impressive ... Wurzbacher dives into the lives of women in this brilliant collection, examining the ways they live and relate to each other while harboring their own secrets and feelings. Her lyrical prose and unflinchingly confrontational voice are powerful and captivating.