This event is in partnership with KAMA DC
"We didn't call the police right away." Those are the electric first words of this extraordinary novel about a biracial Korean American family in Virginia whose lives are upended when their beloved father and husband goes missing.
Mia, the irreverent, hyperanalytical twenty-year-old daughter, has an explanation for everything--which is why she isn't initially concerned when her father and younger brother Eugene don't return from a walk in a nearby park. They must have lost their phone. Or stopped for an errand somewhere. But by the time Mia's brother runs through the front door bloody and alone, it becomes clear that the father in this tight-knit family is missing and the only witness is Eugene, who has the rare genetic condition Angelman syndrome and cannot speak.
What follows is both a ticking-clock investigation into the whereabouts of a father and an emotionally rich portrait of a family whose most personal secrets just may be at the heart of his disappearance. Full of shocking twists and fascinating questions of love, language, and human connection, Happiness Falls is a mystery, a family drama, and a novel of profound philosophical inquiry. With all the powerful storytelling she brought to her award-winning debut, Miracle Creek, Angie Kim turns the missing-person story into something wholly original, creating an indelible tale of a family who must go to remarkable lengths to truly understand one another.
Angie Kim moved as a preteen from Seoul, South Korea, to the suburbs of Baltimore. After graduating from Interlochen Arts Academy, she studied philosophy at Stanford University and attended Harvard Law School, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Her debut novel, Miracle Creek, won the Edgar Award, the ITW Thriller Award, the Strand Critics’ Award, and the Pinckley Prize and was named one of the best books of the year by Time, The Washington Post, Kirkus, and the Today show. She lives in northern Virginia with her family.
Kim will be in conversation with Louis Bayard. In the words of the New York Times, Bayard “reinvigorates historical fiction,” rendering the past “as if he’d witnessed it firsthand.” His acclaimed novels include The Pale Blue Eye, adapted into the global #1 Netflix release starring Christian Bale, Jackie & Me, ranked by the Washington Post as one of the top novels of 2022, the national bestseller Courting Mr. Lincoln, Roosevelt's Beast, The School of Night, The Black Tower, and Mr. Timothy, as well as the highly praised young-adult novel, Lucky Strikes. A New York Times Notable author, he has been nominated for both the Edgar and Dagger awards, and his story, “Banana Triangle Six,” was chosen for The Best American Mystery Stories. His reviews and articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and Salon. An instructor at George Washington University, he is the chair of the PEN/Faulkner Awards and was the author of the popular Downton Abbey recaps for the New York Times. His work has been translated into more than a dozen languages.