Monday, April 7, 2014

This is the Story of a Happy Marriage - Ann Patchett

I've enjoyed this author since I read her book, Bel Canto several years ago.  She is a meticulous writer, with her words carefully chosen.  She paints a scene in great detail and when a character is introduced, I feel I am living their experience.  So, I looked forward to reading this book, a collection of short stories, memoirs and speeches she has written over the past.  Along the way, she reveals her family background, her upbringing and education and her views of marriage and children.  I found I prefer her fiction more than her person.  I don't think we would be friends yet I continue to admire and be impressed with her writing.

Ann Patchett grew up going to Catholic schools and the discipline and respect she learned still reverbates through her writing.  She had a life off relative privelege and was encouraged from a very young age to pursue her belief that she would be a writer.  She earned an MFA and attended the Iowas Writer's Workshop.  She speaks of the need for would-be writers to study and practice their craft as would a scientist.  It was a differnt view of writing that I found refreshing, revealing writing as work and skill, as well as art and gift.

I learned she is a lover of opera (to the point of being a snob about it).  She married a much older physician after many years of dating him and prefers to remain childless. She is definite in her opinions and unapologetic for her viewpoints.  I recommend reading this book to get inside the mind of a talented author.

Publisehd:  2013  Read: April 2014  Genre: Essay, memoir

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