Story: Happy Birthday, Dear Happy

“Earlier this year, the novelist Andrew O’Hagan travelled to Malawi with Unicef. The following story, written to mark World Aids Day next Friday, was inspired by the plight of children he met at an orphanage.” — Guardian Unlimited Books

Happy Birthday, Dear Happy

by Andrew O’ Hagan for Guardian Unlimited Books (Nov. 25, 2006)

“My father is no longer here and has gone to his grave in the sand, but one night I saw him in the road and he gave me a handful of cashew-nuts and spoke of his lost spectacles. It was late and a large heron-bird flew over the fields. I was feeling strange, and could barely walk, but I had hoped to pick mangoes from the trees of an abandoned house in Namasimba. Our father was walking in the road before me and when he turned I saw he was holding a broken radio. The radio was crackling with English voices and the ghost of our father put the machine to his ear. “Listen, my eldest son,” he said. “David Beckham is awake tonight in Namasimba. Beckham crosses the ball. His friend scores a goal with his head and smiles at the everlasting sun.”

Read full story here

Published in: on November 27, 2006 at 11:47 am  Leave a Comment  

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