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Books

Ann Patchett's new book will win you over, in spite of yourself

Too much kindly advice can be grating, as the author unintentionally demonstrates in This is the Story of a Happy Marriage — yet her collection of essays is also a charmer

30 November 2013

9:00 AM

30 November 2013

9:00 AM

This is the Story of a Happy Marriage Ann Patchett

Bloomsbury, pp.300, £16.99, ISBN: 9781408842393

Ann Patchett’s novels revel in the tightly constructed ecosystems imagined for their characters: an opera singer besieged among diplomats in the Orange Prize-winning Bel Canto; State of Wonder’s pharmacologist in the Amazon; a fugitive wife hiding in a home for unwed mothers in The Patron Saint of Liars. In this new collection of personal essays collated from publications including the New York Times, Vogue and Granta, Patchett maps out her own life, her own constructed universe.

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