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This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann…

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

by Ann Patchett

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8465915,251 (4.09)80
  1. 10
    On Writing by Stephen King (tandah)
  2. 00
    Havanas in Camelot: Personal Essays by William Styron (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Though William Styron's prose tends to be bleaker than Ann Patchett's, readers will find both these essay collections absorbing explorations of their personal challenges and their relationships with people, places, and the arts.

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Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
This was simply marvelous. I think I may enjoy Patchett's nonfiction better than her fiction, because I thought State of Wonder was just so so. This, on the other hand, was incredibly compelling. I'm usually interested in the nonfiction I'm reading, but I'm not usually as drawn into essays as I was with this one. It's hard to explain why I enjoyed this as much as I did. Just bloody good writing, I guess. ( )
  gossamerchild88 | Mar 30, 2018 |
Well written and interesting collection of articles, essays, etc. ( )
  BridgitDavis | Feb 20, 2018 |
A collection of essays (and a speech) that is Fine from beginning to end. I had only read Ann Patchett's second novel, Taft, before. Most of her fiction has not called to me, based on descriptions, and even enthusiastic reviews by readers I respect. HOWEVER, having read all these pieces, many of which spoke directly to my heart and soul, I know I have to trust Ann Patchett to tell me a good story, even if it isn't one that seems to be "my kind of thing" on the face of it. When she described her 7th grade self's brief but lovely encounter with Eudora Welty at a book signing, I found myself hugging the book, and there might have been a tear in my eye over her final observation about that: "For the sheer force of its heart-stopping, life-changing wonder, I will put this experience up against anyone who ever saw the Beatles." Also, she has forced --forced, I tell you--me to buy two books, a collection of Grace Paley's short stories, and the 2006 edition of Best American Short Stories, which Patchett edited and for which she wrote a wonderful introduction (included in This is the Story...
October 2017 ( )
  laytonwoman3rd | Dec 30, 2017 |
A collection of personal essays from throughout Patchett's career, this book avoids being hit or miss, with every essay in it striking a chord with me. I did enjoy some of them more than others, of course, but the whole collection was wonderful. My favorites were "The Wall," about trying out for the LA police academy; "The Right to Read," an address to the Clemson freshman class of 2006 amid a brouhaha about one of Patchett's books; and "The Mercies," about Patchett's friendship with a nun. Recommended. ( )
  lycomayflower | Oct 30, 2017 |
These days, Ann Patchett is best known for her novels, but she began her writing career as a journalist, mastering the art of short non-fiction. This collection of essays, originally published in the New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, and other major media outlets, represents some of her finest work in the genre.

These essays are highly personal, and collectively describe a life with all of its ups and downs. Patchett discusses her writing career, her romantic and family relationships, her dog, the decision to open a bookstore, and her friendship with Lucy Grealy (covered in depth in Patchett's memoir, Truth and Beauty).

Many times, an essay took hold of me, prompting anything from nodding in agreement to outrage to tears. I couldn't possibly mention every one of these moments. One that stood out was her 2007 piece about her 2006 appearance at Clemson University. Truth and Beauty was assigned reading for the incoming freshman class, to the outrage of many parents and alumni who wrongly deemed it pornographic. Patchett endured their public shaming, and to its credit the university did not cancel their invitation for her to address the class. Her powerful address, "The Right to Read," follows her essay about these events. The final essay in this collection, "The Mercies," is about an aging nun and at first seemed out of place. But as I turned the final page, I realized it was a perfect way to end this book while leaving room for more books like this in the future. ( )
3 vote lauralkeet | Oct 16, 2017 |
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The tricky thing about being a writer, or about being any kind of artist, is that in addition to making art you also have to make a living.
Page 160:  Color, while being the most visible thing we can know about a tree, is…created by that part of light that the tree has cast off.  The tree absorbs all the other light waves of color, welcomes them as part of itself; the green we see is the negative, the reflected-off reality it wants no part of.  Where its definition of itself ends, our definition of it is just beginning.
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Book description
Nonfiction, an introduction
How to read a Christmas story
The getaway car : a practical memoir about writing and life
The sacrament of divorce
The Paris match
This dog's life
The best seat in the house
My road to Hell was paved
On responsibility
The wall
Fact vs. fiction
My life in sales
"The love between the two women is not normal"
The right to read
Do not disturb
Introduction to "The Best American Short Stories 2006"
Love sustained
The bookstore strikes back
This is the story of a happy marriage
Our deluge, drop by drop
Dog without end
The mercies.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062236679, Hardcover)

Blending literature and memoir, Ann Patchett, author of State of  Wonder, Run, and Bel Canto, examines her deepest commitments—to writing, family, friends, dogs, books, and her husband—creating a resonant portrait of a life in This is the Story of a Happy Marriage.

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage takes us into the very real world of Ann Patchett’s life. Stretching from her childhood to the present day, from a disastrous early marriage to a later happy one, it covers a multitude of topics, including relationships with family and friends, and charts the hard work and joy of writing, and the unexpected thrill of opening a bookstore.

As she shares stories of the people, places, ideals, and art to which she has remained indelibly committed, Ann Patchett brings into focus the large experiences and small moments that have shaped her as a daughter, wife, and writer.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:01 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Ann Patchett, author of State of Wonder, Run, and Bel Canto, examines her deepest commitments-- to writing, family, friends, dogs, books, and her husband-- creating a resonant portrait of her life.

» see all 6 descriptions

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