Interview with Tribeca Citizen
Much of Happiness Ltd. takes place in the Manhattan neighborhood known as TriBeCa (Triangle below Canal Street). Tribeca Citizen, a respected local newsletter, ran an excerpt from the novel and conducted a Q&A with Michael McGhee. Read it here.
For a teaser, here is the first Q&A:
How did the idea for Happiness Ltd. come about?
It goes back to 2003, when my wife and I moved to Murray Street because the city was offering subsidies to anyone who would live south of Chambers, to speed downtown’s recovery from 9/11. It was a strange place and time. In Washington, Congress was writing the Patriot Act and creating the surveillance operations that Edward Snowden would later expose. At night I would walk our dog around Ground Zero, where phalanxes of soldiers stood guard with machine guns. You could still see the slurry wall that held back the seawater after the towers collapsed. Yet at the same time, Tribeca was bouncing back with trendy little restaurants and bars. It felt like we were partying at the end of the world. These strange juxtapositions gave me the idea for a novel set in Manhattan in the not-distant future, where the sea levels are rising and today’s corporate state has become an outright police state, yet the city remains a crazy unmanageable stew where the super-wealthy live side by side with the destitute, and where love or mayhem can break out at any time.