Ann Patchett

"Reading fiction is important. It is a vital means of imagining a life other than our own, which in turn makes us more empathetic beings."

Ann Patchett is a celebrated author, devoted reader, and a champion of literary culture. She has written thirteen books and has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including England’s Orange Prize, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

In 2011, when the last of Nashville’s bookstores had been shuttered, Ann declared, “I have no interest in living in a city without a bookstore.” And so, in November of that year she opened Parnassus Books and has since become a spokesperson for independent booksellers. In 2012, TIME named Ann one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World for her efforts on behalf of the literary community. Writing of her friend on the occasion of that event, novelist Elizabeth Gilbert described Ann as “a woman of wisdom, determination, generosity and courage.”

Ann published her first story in The Paris Review while still a student at Sarah Lawrence College. Her novel, Bel Canto, was awarded the Orange Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award. The world-renowned Lyric Opera Company of Chicago commissioned a production based on the novel that The Chicago Tribune called “a thought-provoking production worthy of a world-class opera company.” In 2016, Ann released her seventh novel, Commonwealth; It was selected as a New York Times Best Book of the Year, a TIME Magazine Top 10 Selection, and was a NBCC Award Finalist. In 2019, she published her first children’s book, Lambslide, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. Her newest novel, The Dutch House, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and has sold more than 1 million copies. NPR writes, “…you won’t want to put down this engrossing, warmhearted book even after you’ve read the last page.”

There’s a pink brick home in Nashville, Tennessee with a wide porch surrounded by old trees. It’s Ann Patchett’s favorite place and it’s where she lives with her husband Karl, their dog Sparky, and lots of books.

Ann Patchett's Spontaneous Speech


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