Before Ann Patchett achieved fame as a novelist, she honed her writing skills as a contributor to Seventeen, where she worked for eight years. She also wrote articles for such publications as Elle, Vogue, Gourmet, and the New York Times Magazine. These free-lance jobs paid Ann’s bills and taught her self-discipline, flexibility, and humility. THIS IS A STORY OF A HAPPY MARRIAGE is a compilation of Ann Patchett’s most memorable essays.
All of Patchett’s pieces are nicely done, but some are particularly meaningful.
Dubravka Ugresic’s new collection of cultural essays deal, primarily, with “Nostalgia,” the title of her first piece.
Ms. Ugresice is a Croatian, formally a Yugoslavian, who now lives in Amsterdam.
Her essays delve into politics, history, popular US, Yugoslavian and European culture from the 1950’s to the 21st century, as well as her own thoughts and flights of fancy. She is branded a “Yugonostalgnic,” by many of her fellow countrymen and women. This is a derogatory term, a synonym for those who long for the days of the Yugoslavia of yore under the reign of Tito; dinosaurs who look back fondly to the slogan “brotherhood and unity.”