Saturday, December 21, 2013

Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett's latest book is a collection of memoirs and essays titled This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage.

From her Q & A with Noah Charney for The Daily Beast:

You edited Best American Short Stories 2006. I just did a project in which I read a short story a day for 30 days, and wrote responses to them. It seems we’re in a bit of a Renaissance moment for short fiction, suddenly selling well alongside novels. What do you look for in a great short story, and is there one above all that embodies what you look for?

You know, I feel like people have been talking about the “Short Story Renaissance” for a long time. In an “if you build it, they will come” way, if it’s been predicted long enough, it will happen. I think that’s great, we need to just keep doing it. There have been so many great short story collections out there. Andre Dubus III is editing a giant short story anthology right now, and he’s got 100 writers who are writing essays about a short story: one canonical and one that they pick themselves. The two stories that I’m doing are “Sunny’s Blues” by James Baldwin and “The Long Distance Runner” by Grace Paley. There isn’t one thing that embodies a great short story. Well, maybe there is. A short story captures the very specific moment in time when things turn. In a novel, that could be many years. In a story, it pulls those years into a single instance.
Read the complete Q & A.

Learn about the book that changed Ann Patchett's life.

--Marshal Zeringue