Excerpt from I Married You for Happiness by Lily Tuck, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

I Married You for Happiness

by Lily Tuck

I Married You for Happiness by Lily Tuck X
I Married You for Happiness by Lily Tuck
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Sep 2011, 208 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2012, 224 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


She has not bothered to draw the curtains. Outside, above the waving tree branches, she can make out a few stars in the night sky. A mere dozen in a galaxy of a billion or a trillion stars. Perhaps death, she thinks, is like one of those stars - a star that can be seen only backward in time and exists in an unobservable state. While life, she has heard said, was created from stars - the stars' debris.

What did he say to her exactly?

I am a bit tired, I am going to lie down for a minute before supper.

or

I am going to lie down for a minute before supper, I am a bit tired.

or something else entirely.

She is in the kitchen. Spinning the lettuce. She looks up briefly.

How was your day?

She half listens to his reply.

We had a faculty meeting. You should hear how those new physicists talk! They're crazy, Philip says, as he goes upstairs. She makes the salad dressing, she sets the table. She takes the chicken out of the oven. She boils new potatoes. Then she calls him.

Philip! Dinner is ready.

She starts to open a bottle of red wine but the cork is stuck.

He will fix it.

Again, Philip, Philip! Dinner!

Before she walks into the bedroom, she knows already. She sees his stocking feet. He has taken off his shoes. What was he thinking? About dinner? About her? A paper he is reading by one of his students, arguing that Kronecker was right to claim that the Aristotelian exclusion of completed infinites could be maintained?

Infinites. Infinite sets. Infinite series.

Infinity makes her anxious.

It gives her nightmares. As a child, she had a recurring dream. A dream she can never put into words. The closest she comes to describing the dream, she tells Philip, is to say that it has to do with numbers. The numbers - if in fact they are numbers - always start out small and manageable, although in the dream Nina knows that this is temporary, for soon they start to gather force and multiply; they become large and uncontrollable. They form an abyss. A black hole of numbers.

You're in good company, is what Philip tells her. The Greeks, Aristotle, Archimedes, Pascal all had it.

The dream?

No, what the dream stands for.

Which is?

The terror of the infinite.

But, for Philip, infinity is a demented concept.

Infinity, he says, is absurd.

Excerpted from I Married You for Happiness by Lily Tuck. Copyright © 2011 by Lily Tuck. Excerpted by permission of Atlantic Monthly Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Schrödinger's Cat

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: The Dry
    The Dry
    by Jane Harper
    Voted 2017 Best Debut Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    After receiving a letter from his childhood...
  • Book Jacket: Little Fires Everywhere
    Little Fires Everywhere
    by Celeste Ng
    Voted 2017 Best Fiction by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    Small towns, big drama. Acclaimed author ...
  • Book Jacket: La Belle Sauvage
    La Belle Sauvage
    by Philip Pullman
    Voted 2017 Best Young Adult Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect ...
  • Book Jacket: Killers of the Flower Moon
    Killers of the Flower Moon
    by David Grann
    Voted 2017 Best Nonfiction by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    The long, sorrowful list of injustices done ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

"Electrifying . . . as beautiful and as icy as the Minnesota woods where it's set."
—NPR

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Story of Arthur Truluv
    by Elizabeth Berg

    An emotionally powerful novel from New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Berg.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Autumn

Autumn by Ali Smith

One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year, and a Man Booker Prize Finalist

Enter

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay: $400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.