Ann Patchett at Malaprops

I had one of the most amazing author platform experiences earlier this month listening to Ann Patchett talk about her life, her work, and her bookstore. Subjects ranging from the state of publishing to owning Parnassus Books  in book-loving Nashville, Tennessee. The evening was hosted by the writing department at UNC-Asheville and by Malaprops Books one of the fabulous indie stores in Asheville, NC.

The thing I love about listening to a writer I admire is that I get inspired myself. Not only do I pick up a new book, as I did her latest book of essays, THIS IS THE STORY OF A HAPPY MARRIAGE, but I think more deeply about my own work, where it is going, and where it has been.

One of the most beautiful things about being a writer, about being an artist, is that our work is always changing. Even within a genre like Regency Romance, I feel as if I am using a outward form to express an inward truth, to explore the aspects of my life that are worth embracing, and taking a deeper look at those things that are worth letting go.

If you are a fan of Ann Patchett, as I am, check out her latest. I’ve included the description from Malaprops’ website below. It’s a book for writers, and for everyone.



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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.