'Happy Baby is surely the most intelligent and beautiful book ever written about juvenile detention centers, sadomasochism and drugs . . . Heartbreaking' New York Times Book Review
Happy Baby is the story of Theo, once the eponymous happy baby, but later an orphan in foster care and now a grown man living in California. Haunted by memories of neglect, abandonment and abuse, Theo returns to Chicago where he lived as a troubled adolescent, to track down an old girlfriend. Told in reverse order, this is an edgy and powerful novel, chilling in its portrayal of a life slowly yet systematically disintegrating.
'Telling his story backward . . . is a graceful strategy that gives Happy Baby its unique veracity and humane edge. It also allows the narrative to transcend the shocking details of Theo's life, which Elliott reveals in quick verbal jabs that pepper his otherwise tightly wound prose' Village Voice