Ann Patchett is the author of four previous novels, including Bel Canto, which won the Orange prize. She writes for the New York Times Magazine, Elle, GQ, The Paris Review and Vogue. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
Run, published by Bloomsbury in August 2007, and in paperback in June 2008, is a moving story of overlapping lives.
Author photo © Melissa Ann Pinney
Fellow novelist KERRY REICHS on ANN PATCHETT
Pretty much anything Ann Patchett ever wrote is a sure thing in my book. I first read Bel Canto, and quickly followed it with everything else. Patchett’s sharp eyes don’t miss much when observing the intensity of relationships and human emotion. She has a deft touch for showing without over-telling, and providing readers with a view straight to the heart of a diverse array of people. Her novel Run is a welcome reminder that there exist good people trying to good in the world, and you feel better for having read it.
Here, Ann Patchett shares entertaining and moving stories about her tumultuous childhood, her painful early divorce, the excitement of selling her first book, driving a Winnebago from Montana to Yellowstone Park, her joyous discovery of opera, scaling a six-foot wall in order to join the Los Angeles Police Department, the gradual loss of her beloved grandmother, starting her own bookshop in Nashville, her love for her very special dog and, of course, her eventual happy marriage. This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage is a memoir both wide ranging and deeply personal, overflowing with close observation and emotional wisdom, told with wit, honesty and irresistible warmth.
I only discovered Patchett recently, with her most recent novel, The Dutch House, and felt swept away by her lyrical prose and sharply drawn characters. She writes compelling dramas about fairly ordinary folks, and makes it look easy when it’s anything but. She’s not a thriller writer, but her stories reveal secrets in that peeling-the-layers-of-an-onion way that the best crime writers have mastered. In this novel, the title character, Sabine, learns after his death that the magician she worked with for years, and eventually married, had a previous life he’d never told her about. The reasons behind his secrecy seem straightforward enough at the beginning, but as Sabine gets to know his family she’d never known existed, the truth is jaw-droppingly seismic. Selected by Linwood Barclay, Our Autumn 2021 Guest Editor. Click here to read the full Guest Editor Piece.
A moving story of overlapping lives from the Orange Prize-winning author of Bel Canto Tip and Teddy are becoming men under the very eyes of their adoptive father, Bernard Doyle. A student at Harvard, Tip is happiest in a lab, whilst Teddy thinks he has found his calling in the Church, and both are increasingly strained by their father's protective plans for them. But when they are involved in an accident on an icy road, the Doyles are forced to confront certain truths about their lives, how the death of Doyle's wife Bernadette has affected the family, and an anonymous figure who is always watching.
Der Champagner fliet, die wundervolle Stimme einer Weltklasse Sopranistin erfullt den Palazzo - die politische Elite feiert ausgelassen. Plotzlich fallen Schusse. Eine Bande von Terroristen sturmt den Raum und nimmt die ganze Gesellschaft in Geiselhaft. Es gibt keinen Ausweg. Und noch ahnt niemand, was die verzaubernde, einende Kraft der Musik in dieser lebensbedrohlichen Situation auszurichten vermag.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE ORANGE PRIZE FOR FICTION 2012 There were people on the banks of the river. Among the tangled waterways and giant anacondas of the Brazilian Rio Negro, an enigmatic scientist is developing a drug that could alter the lives of women for ever. Dr Annick Swenson's work is shrouded in mystery; she refuses to report on her progress, especially to her investors, whose patience is fast running out. Anders Eckman, a mild-mannered lab researcher, is sent to investigate. A curt letter reporting his untimely death is all that returns. Now Marina Singh, Anders' colleague and once a student of the mighty Dr Swenson, is their last hope. Compelled by the pleas of Anders's wife, who refuses to accept that her husband is not coming home, Marina leaves the snowy plains of Minnesota and retraces her friend's steps into the heart of the South American darkness, determined to track down Dr. Swenson and uncover the secrets being jealously guarded among the remotest tribes of the rainforest. What Marina does not yet know is that, in this ancient corner of the jungle, where the muddy waters and susurrating grasses hide countless unknown perils and temptations, she will face challenges beyond her wildest imagination. Marina is no longer the student, but only time will tell if she has learnt enough.
The international bestselling writer Ann Patchett has been described as 'one of the foremost chroniclers of the burdens of emotional inventory and its central place in American lives' and 'a master of her art' (Observer). In her new collection, with her trademark blend of wryness, intelligence and wisdom, she explores family, friendship, marriage, failure, success - and how all these forces have shaped her as a writer. Ranging from the personal - her portrait in triptych of the three men she called her fathers, to unexpectedly falling into a friendship with Tom Hanks, to how to answer when someone asks why you don't have children - to the sublime - exploring the Harvard Museum of Natural History before its doors open, or the perfection to be found on a single page of Eudora Welty - each essay shows Patchett's strikingly original perspective, and the magical sleight of hand with which she transforms the particular into the universal. Illuminating, penetrating, funny and generous, These Precious Days is joyful time spent in the company of one of our greatest living authors.
From the international bestselling author of Bel Canto and The Dutch House, Ann Patchett, and the bestselling illustrator of the Fancy Nancy series, Robin Preiss Glasser, comes a hilarious and heartwarming story about a goat who keeps getting all the blame, but ultimately teaches one family about the importance of honesty and owning up to your mistakes. The Farmer family has a big problem! Every day their goat escapes, and every day, Mr. Farmer brings him back. So when things start to go awry on the farm, it must be the goat's fault. Who's to blame when Mrs. Farmer's petunias are trampled? Or when all the cupcakes for Archie's party disappear? And when the whole bucket of paint is spilled? Of course, everyone blames the goat! But is it really his fault? Find out in this epic collaboration between Ann Patchett and Robin Preiss Glasser, who create this perfect picture book about telling the truth.
Lose yourself in the story of a lifetime - the unforgettable Sunday Times bestseller 'Patchett leads us to a truth that feels like life rather than literature' Guardian Longlisted for the Women's Prize 2020 A STORY OF TWO SIBLINGS, THEIR CHILDHOOD HOME, AND A PAST THAT THEY CAN'T LET GO. Like swallows, like salmon, we were the helpless captives of our migratory patterns. We pretended that what we had lost was the house, not our mother, not our father. We pretended that what we had lost had been taken from us by the person who still lived inside. 'The best book I've read in years' Rosamund Lupton 'Her finest novel yet' Sunday Times 'The buzz around The Dutch House is totally justified. Her best yet, which is saying something' John Boyne 'A masterpiece' Cathy Rentzenbrink 'Bliss' Nigella Lawson
From the international bestselling author of Bel Canto and Commonwealth, Ann Patchett, and the bestselling illustrator of the Fancy Nancy series, Robin Preiss Glasser, comes a hilarious children's story about a slide made just for lambs. Nicolette Farmer is running for class president, and the rest of the Farmer family tells her she'll win by a landslide. A pack of overconfident lambs mistakenly hear lambslide and can't believe there's a slide made just for them. But when they can't find one on the farm, there's only one thing left to do: take a vote! They campaign. They bargain. They ask all the other animals if they, too, would like a lambslide. Will the lambs ever get their special slide? Find out in this epic collaboration between Patchett and Glasser, who create the perfect children's book.
Winner of The Women's Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. The poignant - and at times very funny - novel from the author of The Dutch House and Commonwealth. Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honour of the powerful businessman Mr. Hosokawa. Roxane Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerised the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening - until a band of gun-wielding terrorists takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, a moment of great beauty, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different continents become compatriots, intimate friends, and lovers.
'Dazzling ... The combination of lightness, warmth and remarkable incisiveness creates a novel that is life-affirming and compulsively readable' Sunday Times It is 1964: Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating's christening party uninvited and notices a heart stoppingly beautiful woman. When he kisses Beverly Keating, his host's wife, he sets in motion the joining of two families, whose shared fate will be defined on a day seven years later. In 1988, Franny Keating, now twenty-four, is working as a cocktail waitress in Chicago. When she meets the famous author Leon Posen one night at the bar, and tells him about her family, she unwittingly relinquishes control over their story...
Ware Bert Cousins nicht uneingeladen auf der Taufe von Franny Keating erschienen, all das ware nicht passiert. Aber noch bevor der Abend hereinbricht, haben er und Frannys Mutter sich gekusst und damit das Ende ihrer jeweiligen Ehe eingelautet - und beide Familien fur immer miteinander verbunden. Die Keating- und Cousinskinder werden zukunftig die Sommer gemeinsam in Virginia verbringen. Sie schmieden uber die Jahre ein dauerhaftes Bundnis, sowohl aus Enttauschung uber die eigenen Eltern, als auch aus echter, stetig wachsender Zuneigung. Bis es zwanzig Jahre danach ein neues Familiendrama gibt: "e;Taufling"e; Franny hat eine Affare mit einem beruhmten Schriftsteller. Sie erzahlt ihm die Keating-Cousins-Story, und plotzlich wird ihrer aller Kindheit die Grundlage fur einen unglaublich erfolgreichen Roman. Die unerwunschte Offentlichkeit zwingt die Geschwister, sich ganz neu mit ihren Verlusten, ihren Schuldgefuhlen und ihrer Loyalitat auseinanderzusetzen.
Als der Biologe Anders Eckman auf der Suche nach Dr. Swenson im brasilianischen Regenwald verschwindet, soll Swensons ehemalige Studentin Marina Singh dem Fall nachgehen und die eigenwillige Forscherin aufspuren, die sich seit Jahren weigert, Berichte an ihr Institut zu liefern. Marina folgt Eckmans Spuren und wagt sich auf eine gefahrliche Reise ins dunkle Herz desAmazonas, um zu klren, was es mit Swensons geheimnisvollen Studien ber die Fruchtbarkeit der Ureinwohner auf sich hat. Doch je nher sie ihrem Ziel auf dem Rio Negro entgegenreist, desto klarer wird ihr, dass sie sich nicht nur den Gefahren des Urwalds, sondern auch ihren eigenen ngsten stellen muss ... Fluss der Wunder ist ein intelligenter Abenteuerroman mit einer faszinierenden Heldin, ein packendes Stck Literatur ber Wissenschaft und Moral, den Schrecken der Natur und das Grauen im Herzen eines jeden, der Grenzen berschreitet, an denen kein Mensch jemals rhren sollte.
Expect miracleswhen you read Ann Patchetts fiction.New YorkTimes Book ReviewAward-winning, New York Times bestsellingauthor Ann Patchett returns with a provocative andassured novel of morality and miracles, science and sacrifice set in the Amazonrainforest. Infusing the narrative with the same ingenuity and emotionalurgency that pervaded her acclaimed previous novels Bel Canto, Taft, Run, The Magicians Assistant, and ThePatron Saint of Liars, Patchett delivers anenthrallingly innovative tale of aspiration, exploration, and attachment in State of Wondera gripping adventurestory and a profound look at the difficult choices we make in the name ofdiscovery and love.
When Parsifal, a handsome and charming magician, dies suddenly, his widow Sabinewho was also his faithful assistant for twenty yearslearns that the family he claimed to have lost in a tragic accident is very much alive and well. Sabine is left to unravel his secrets, and the adventure she embarks upon, from sunny Los Angeles to the bitter windswept plains of Nebraska, will work its own magic on her. Sabine's extraordinary tale captures the hearts of its readers just as Sabine is captured by her quest.
Based on her lauded commencement address at Sarah Lawrence College, this stirring essay by bestselling author Ann Patchett offers hope and inspiration for anyone at a crossroads, whether graduating, changing careers, or transitioning from one life stage to another. With wit and candor, Patchett tells her own story of attending college, graduating, and struggling with the inevitable question, What now?From student to line cook to teacher to waitress and eventually to award-winning author, Patchett's own life has taken many twists and turns that make her exploration genuine and resonant. As Patchett writes, "e;'What now?' represents our excitement and our future, the very vitality of life."e; She highlights the possibilities the unknown offers and reminds us that there is as much joy in the journey as there is in reaching the destination.
Since their mother's death, Tip and Teddy Doyle have been raised by their loving, possessive and ambitious father. As the former Mayor of Boston, Bernard Doyle wants to see his sons in politics, a dream the boys have never shared. But when an argument in a blinding New England snowstorm inadvertently causes an accident that involves a stranger and her child, all Bernard Doyle cares about is his ability to keep his children, all his children, safe.Set over a period of 24 hours, Run takes us from the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard to a home for retired Catholic priests in downtown Boston. It shows us how worlds of privilege and poverty can coexist only blocks apart from one another, and how family can include people you've never even met. As in her best selling novel Bel Canto, Ann Patchett illustrates the humanity that connects disparate lives, weaving several stories into one surprising and endlessly moving narrative. Suspenseful and stunningly executed, Run is ultimately a novel about secrets, duty, responsibility, and the lengths we will go to protect our children.
St. Elizabeth's is a home for unwed mothers in the 1960s. Life there is not unpleasant, and for most, it is temporary. Not so for Rose, a beautiful, mysterious woman who comes to the home pregnant but not unwed. She plans to give up her baby because she knows she cannot be the mother it needs. But St. Elizabeth's is near a healing spring, and when Rose's time draws near, she cannot go through with her plans, not all of them. And she cannot remain forever untouched by what she has left behind . . . and who she has become in the leaving.
From the bestselling author of The Dutch House, Commonwealth and Bel Canto, Winner of The Women's Prize for Fiction and the Pen/Faulkner Award. When Ann Patchett and Lucy Grealy met in college they began a friendship that would define their lives. Lucy Grealy lost part of her jaw to childhood cancer, and a large part of her life to chemotherapy and endless reconstructive surgeries. Stoic but vulnerable, damaged by bullying but fascinated by fame, Lucy had an incandescent personality that illuminated those around her. In this tender, brutal book, Ann Patchett describes Lucy's life and her own platonic love for her. Truth & Beauty is the story of the part of their lives that they shared - the camaraderie and comedy, the tribulations and tragedy of true friendship. A portrait of unwavering commitment through success, failure, despair and drugs, this is what it means to be part of two lives that are intertwined.
The author of Bel Canto -- winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Orange Prize and long-running New York Times bestseller -- turns to nonfiction in a moving chronicle of her decades-long friendship with the critically acclaimed and recently deceased author, Lucy Grealy.What happens when the person who is your family is someone you aren't bound to by blood? What happens when that person is not your lover, but your best friend? In her frank and startlingly intimate first work of nonfiction, Truth Beauty, Ann Patchett shines light on the little-explored world of women's friendships and shows us what it means to stand together.Ann Patchett and Lucy Grealy met in college in 1981, and after enrolling in the Iowa Writer's Workshop began a friendship that would be as defining to both of their lives as their work. In her critically acclaimed memoir, Autobiography of a Face, Lucy Grealy wrote about the first half of her life. In Truth Beauty, the story isn't Lucy's life or Ann's life but the parts of their lives they shared together. This is a portrait of unwavering commitment that spans 20 years, from the long cold winters of the Midwest to surgical wards to book parties in New York. Through love, fame, drugs and despair, this is what it means to be part of two lives that are intertwined.This is a tender, brutal book about loving the person we cannot save. It is about loyalty and about being lifted up by the sheer effervescence of someone who knew how to live life to the fullest.
Winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction 2002. Terrorists highjack a gathering in a small Latin American country hoping to hold hostage the President, however he had decided to stay home and so the terrorists find themselves with a group of foreign hostages as their bargaining tool. This is not a book about violence and terrorism though this is a book about a group of people thrown together in extraordinary circumstances and the relationships that develop. A Powerful, emotional, treasure of a book. A "Piece of Passion" from the publisher... Ann Patchett's novel is set in an unnamed South American country and is based on the 1996 Japanese embassy hostage crisis in Lima, Peru. Widely praised as one of the best books of 2001, Bel Canto went on to win the Orange Prize and become a bestseller – and rightly so. Patchett skilfully uses the dramatic events and a superb cast of characters to build a beautifully written novel, bursting with unexpected relationships and a wonderful sense of humour throughout.
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