This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

Front Cover
HarperCollins, Nov 5, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 320 pages
676 Reviews

The New York Times bestselling author of State of Wonder, Run, and Bel Canto creates a resonant portrait of a life in this collection of writings on love, friendship, work, and art.

"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."

So begins This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, an examination of the things Ann Patchett is fully committed to—the art and craft of writing, the depths of friendship, an elderly dog, and one spectacular nun. Writing nonfiction, which started off as a means of keeping her insufficiently lucrative fiction afloat, evolved over time to be its own kind of art, the art of telling the truth as opposed to the art of making things up. Bringing her narrative gifts to bear on her own life, Patchett uses insight and compassion to turn very personal experiences into stories that will resonate with every reader.

These essays twine to create both a portrait of life and a philosophy of life. Obstacles that at first appear insurmountable—scaling a six-foot wall in order to join the Los Angeles Police Department, opening an independent bookstore, and sitting down to write a novel—are eventually mastered with quiet tenacity and a sheer force of will. The actual happy marriage, which was the one thing she felt she wasn't capable of, ultimately proves to be a metaphor as well as a fact: Patchett has devoted her life to the people and ideals she loves the most.

An irresistible blend of literature and memoir, This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage is a unique examination of the heart, mind, and soul of one of our most revered and gifted writers.

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I liked the font & writing style. - Goodreads
I don't thrill to her sentences and insights. - Goodreads
Beautifully written, with stunning imagery. - Goodreads
I loved the writing advice! - Goodreads
Easy to read/follow. - Goodreads
Even the intro is wonderful to read. - Goodreads

Review: This is the Story of a Happy Marriage

User Review  - Karen Douglass - Goodreads

This book depressed me. It's a beautifully written set of essays by a very talented writer. According to the jacket it "is a unique examination of the heart, mind, and soul of one of our most revered ... Read full review

Review: This is the Story of a Happy Marriage

User Review  - Emily - Goodreads

I have never thought "wow, I can't wait to get back to that book of essays!" until now. I could read Ann Patchett all day. The story about her father and the LAPD will stay with me for a long time. Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Ann Patchett is the author of six novels and three works of nonfiction. She is the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, England's Orange Prize, and the Book Sense Book of the Year, and was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2012. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She is the co-owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband, Karl, and their dog, Sparky.

Bibliographic information