A marvelous collection of essays by writer Ann Patchett, This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, is about “commitment,” as the author explains in this video clip. Each essay – whether about caring for her elderly grandmother, going on book tour, her friendship with Lucy Grieg – is about something that she feels married to. Each one is also about her writing life, so while each (originally published at various points in her life) is personal and revealing in some way, they aren’t confessional. She doesn’t overshare, so that a reader doesn’t feel uncomfortable, as if reading is an invasion of privacy.
Ann Patchett has just turned 50 this month, at least according to Wikipedia. The essays in this collection span a period of time from her early days of writing and teaching up to the present, when she is a well-known novelist and owner of an independent bookstore, Parnassus Books, in Nashville, Tennessee. I think all of the essays would be enjoyed by any reader, but being familiar with her work will give you a little more insight into them. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys writers’ memoirs and writing about writing!
I’ve listened to all of Ann Patchett’s novels on audio, and they’ve all been excellent, although I read this nonfiction book in print. This collection of essays is also available on audio, read by the author.
This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage
Nov. 5, 2013
Disclosure: I read this book from the public library.