For those of you who are Ann Patchett fans, I highly recommend her new book of published essays: The Story of a Happy Marriage. First, for writers she gives invaluable advice by showing readers her own path and the teachers along the way. The essays themselves are small masterworks from which writers can learn much about voice and economy of word. Some are just plain fun (Winnebago) and others heart warming (Rose, a love story about Ann and her dog).
The Ann Patchett universe – the writer and her works – is new to me although I have read State of Wonder and The Patron Saint of Liars. Perhaps the way to know her best is to read This is the Story of a Happy Marriage because it describes many important times and relationships in her life as a person, friend and writer. The second way to know Ann is to visit Parnassus Books in Nashville. The quality of books, the gestalt of the place with all its fans, friends, staff, and occasionally Ann, speaks volumes about what is important to Ann.
Last summer I spent my birthday in Parnassus, loading up on Patchett books and other authors. The store is in a shopping district so be sure to take your GPS or cell phone to find it. Afterward I went downtown town to the Vanderbilt neighborhood and found a lovely restaurant, and later found a gelato shop where I enjoyed a double scoop of Pistachio to celebrate my 68th year on this fine planet. Writers like Ann Patchett make your Earth Walk a soulful journey. Try her new book of essays!
P.S. I highly recommend the audio book read by the author. Well done.