Last month I posted a happy ending lament. Ok, not a lament, a gripe. I griped that happy endings in contemporary literature aren't taken seriously often just because they are happy. Not because they don't work, not because they aren't satisfying, not because they ignore plot, but just because they are happy. And I think that is b.s.
I am tickled to see that I have some high falutin' company in that regard. AbeBooks.com has a list of Feel-Good Reads for those in need of some redemption and author Alexander McCall Smith wonders why literature has to be so gloomy. And novelist J. Robert Lennon not only likes happy endings, he respects them. Because they can be, his word, "badass." He talks about this in his Ward Six post, Gimme some happy.
I was lucky enough to have Lennon as a workshop instructor a few years ago. In the spring of 2004 his novel, Mailman had just been published, Library Journal compared him to Joseph Heller and Ken Kesey, and he was hired on to be an instructor at the Bear River Writer's Conference. I was the woman sitting in the Adirondack chair scribbling away like mad, trying to write down everything he said.
Seven years have passed, I'm still scribbling (and occasionally getting my badass on - see above) and I caught up with Lennon on his blog, Ward Six, just as he decided to shut it down. Ending, yes. Happy, no. To quote Axl Rose: Every rose has it's thorn.