Novelist Ann Patchett Knows the ‘Tyranny of Good Deeds’ – The Wall Street Journal


At age 25, Ann Patchett “slipped out” of her short-term first marriage, deserted the educating job she shared Collectively with her husband at a small Pennsylvania school and moved again in Collectively with her mom in Nashville, Tenn. Till That time, her life as an aspiring author had appeared to Adjust to a script: She studied with the distinguished authors Grace Paley and Russell Banks in school, revealed A narrative Inside the Paris Consider earlier than graduating, and reniced her craft On The very biggest writing program Inside the nation. All of a sudden, she found herself ready tables at T.G.I.Friday’s, serving fajitas to former classmates and sporting A obligatory “humorous hat.”

“It was a time when virtually nothing acquired here simply,” Ms. Patchett, 57, recollects over the telephone from her house in Nashville, the place she lives Collectively with her husband, Karl, and a charismatic mutt named Sparky. She remembers questioning whether or not she ought to change to a extra safe profession. Maybe she might Discover your self to be a dental hygienist, as her father relentlessly pushed? However she decided Instead that it was nice to spend The The rest of her life balancing cheeseburger platters up her arm As prolonged as she nonetheless had time To write down. “That was all I needed to do,” she says. “It was not that I needed to be a author, it was that I needed To write down.”


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