About The Happy Valley

The Happy Valley is a genre-bending work of literary fiction. It is a coming-of-age story, an expansive, surrealist take on American history, a philosophical mystery, a subversive look at our culture, and a lot of fun. It is a nostalgic trip to the early 90s and a challenging look into a possible future to come.

It includes 66 full-page b&w illustrations

The illustrations, by the author, "recall the excitability of middle-grade stories" (Kirkus). These free, etching-style drawings are meant to evoke the chapter books and illustrated classics you might pick up at a library sale. The illustrations are available in all editions.

Paperback, Kindle, and Audiobook versions

Available in a handsome paperback, the book can also be found on Kindle (later it will be available on Epub), and in two forthcoming Audiobooks with different narrators and narrative styles. You can also get a feel for the novel with this Spotify playlist.

Populated with fascinating, idiosyncratic characters

From the unnamed narrator and his lost love June, to the eccentric lawyer Jeremiah Jeremiah and his protégée Tiffany Ho; from galactic adventurer Zane Arbuster to the school janitor and pipe-organ prodigy Clyde Duane, the novel is filled with “a host of captivating characters” (SPR) guaranteed to draw you in.


How do long-lost letters from the past explain our future?


How do you measure worth in a world without money?


How do you live an imperfect life in a perfect world?

What you will find

Here are just a few things you will encounter in The Happy Valley.

Mystery and intrigue

The novel opens with a disappearance. Hidden rooms are discovered. A long dormant secret society comes to life.

A coming-of-age story

At its heart, the book is a coming-of-age story—an awkward teen’s first love and bumbling into adulthood—also the coming of age of a whole society.

Historical fiction

The novel has characters and events set in American history, when New York State was a frontier, and includes tons of historical references.

Science fiction

Science fiction elements abound as the novel works its way from a the early 90s into a futuristic America grappling with a new way of life.

Philosophy, science, technology, wonder

The novel is suffused with philosophical problems and enounters with and meditations about sciecne and technology.

A detailed reading-group guide

The paperback and Kindle versions of the novel include a detailed reading group guide with questions designed to help you discuss and understand the book.

Take a trip to Harmony Valley

Buy the novel today.

Buy paperback for $19.95 $18.55
Buy hardcover for $32.95 $30.64
Buy on Kindle for $9.95

Or ask for it at your local library or bookstore


About the Author

Benjamin Harnett - Poet, Digital Engineer, Historian

Benjamin Harnett is a poet, fiction writer, historian, and digital engineer. His poetry has appeared recently in Poet Lore, Saranac Review, ENTROPY, and the Evansville Review. His short-story “Delivery” was Longform’s Story of the Week; he was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize in Poetry; and has been nominated for a Pushcart. He lives in Cherry Valley, NY with his wife Toni Hacker and their collection of eccentric pets. He works for The New York Times.

He co-founded the once cult-classic fashion brand Hayden-Harnett with Toni in 2005. He is the author of an important paper on the history of the codex, The Diffusion of the Codex, and the short-story collection, Gigantic: Stories From the End of the World.


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