MICHAEL PIAFSKY is an assistant professor and the Director of Creative Writing at Spring Hill College in Alabama. The Missouri native earned an MA in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD from the University of Missouri. A former editor of the Missouri Review, Piafsky has published fiction and nonfiction in such journals as Meridian, Epic, and Bar Stories. A chapter from All the Happiness You Deserve was published by the Jabberwock Review and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is at work on a second novel and has a completed collection of short stories.






Prospect Park Books – February 11, 2014

An Everyman searches for truth and meaning in a life fraught with unsettling challenges, joyful milestones, and the unconscious awareness of the passage of time. The seventy-eight evocative cards of the Tarot deck frame the narrator’s story as he journeys through the phases of his life from childhood to old age. Michael Piafsky’s dazzling debut novel offers a new and important voice to lovers of literary fiction.


“The story is delivered with a holism evocative of a John Irving novel…beautifully written and deeply rewarding. Piafsky is heading toward becoming a major writer.“—Booklist

“Transcendent.“—Publishers Weekly

“Brilliant prose…Michael Piafsky is a word wizard who moves readers from pity to humor to pathos in All the Happiness You Deserve…[He] peppers each chapter with prose so dramatic and suspenseful that the book becomes impossible to put down.”—ForeWord Reviews

“A distinctive, insightful portrait of the everyday rhythms of life and the fragile, complicated threads that connect us, All the Happiness You Deserve is a wildly original, mesmerizing debut.“—Amy Hatvany, author of Outside the Lines and Heart Like Mine

“What I love about All the Happiness You Deserve is its gentle irony and humor. This book captures both a family’s caring and the way it can descend into absolute chaos. Michael Piafsky is one of America’s most promising young writers.”—Speer Morgan, author of The Freshour Cylinders

“In Michael Piafsky’s superb everyman novel All the Happiness You Deserve, all the big questions—fate, fortune, free-will, happiness, pain—spin round and round like a carnival Ferris wheel ride you hope will never end.”—Michael Kardos, author of The Three-Day Affair and One Last Good Time

“Michael Piafsky finds the remarkable in seemingly unremarkable things. He is a poet of everyday details, and All The Happiness You Deserve is a beautiful, confident novel, full of unique and unexpected energy.“—Scott O’Connor, author of Half World and Untouchable

All the Happiness You Deserve delivers much more than that to readers, actually. It’s a long lovely poem of a book, a kind of literary kaleidoscope that reveals beautiful, intricate patterns with each turn of the page.“—Liam Callanan, author of The Cloud Atlas and All Saints

“With a pointillist painter’s skill and vision, Michael Piafsky uses brief scenes to create a full canvas. All the Happiness You Deserve succeeds brilliantly on both a microscopic and telescopic level with the sum of its parts being greater than the whole—and yet somehow each part stands on its own as a perfect jewel, a flash of light. Using the ancient symbolic wisdom of the Tarot deck as a brilliant and haunting structure for this accomplished debut novel, Piafsky depicts the arc of a man’s life from childhood to middle age, presenting his central character’s destiny with both clarity and compassion.”
Marly Swick, author of The Summer Before the Summer of Love and Evening News

“Michael Piafsky is quite a good writer: smart, playful, energetic, and a skillful hand with words, besides being very funny when it’s the appropriate time to be funny, and touching when the situation calls for it too. I hope he gets the readership he deserves.“—Stephen Dixon, National Book Award nominated author of Frog and Interstate

“Michael Piafsky takes a deep and unflinching look into the soul of the average American male. In All the Happiness You Deserve, the narrative arc of an ‘ordinary’ life is writ both large and small in the finely-wrought and telling details laid by the hands of a master-craftsman. Precise, amusing, and tragic—this is a remarkable debut.”—Brian Payton, author of The Wind Is Not a River

All the Happiness You Deserve is a terrific novel, one that succeeds in the rarest of ways: through a combination of experimentation and accessibility. It tells the story of a man’s entire life, and in so doing reveals a great deal about the way we tell stories, to others and—most dangerously—to ourselves.“—Christopher Coake, author of You Came Back

“Through beautifully-written episodes, Michael Piafsky’s novel All the Happiness You Deserve takes us right into the unavoidable melancholy of life.“—Sahar Delijani, author of Children of the Jacaranda Tree


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