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Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  

Bel Canto

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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.

If you like Ann Patchett you might also like to read books by Jane Hamilton, Jane Urquhart and Barbara Kingsolver.

Synopsis

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

The poignant -- and at times very funny -- new novel from the author of 'The Magician's Assistant', shortlisted for the Orange Prize. Latin terrorists storm an international gathering hosted by an underprivileged country to promote foreign interest and trade, only to find that their intended target, the President, has stayed home to watch his favourite soap opera on TV. Among the hostages are a world class opera singer and her biggest fan, a Japanese tycoon who has been persuaded to attend the party on the understanding that she will perform half a dozen arias after dinner. The tycoon's engaging and sympathetic translator plays a vital role in the subsequent relationships between so many different nationalities closeted together, interpreting not only the terrorists' negotiations but also the language of love between lovers who cannot understand what the other is saying. Ultimately, it is the terrorist strike that does more to promote foreign relations than anyone could have hoped to achieve with the party.

Reviews

'A beguiling mix of thriller, romantic comedy, and novel of ideas!Crisply written, immaculately plotted, and often very funny, it is that rarity -- a literary novel you simply can't put down.'
The Times

'Like the blueprint of operatic performance that she has imported, Patchett slides from strutting camp to high tragedy, minute social comedy to sublime romanticism.'
Alex Clark, Guardian

'Expect miracles when you read Ann Patchett's fiction. Comparisons are tempting to the unabashed romanticism of Laurie Colwin, the eccentric characters of Anne Tyler, the enchantments of Alice Hoffman. But Patchett is unique; a generous, fearless and startlingly wise young writer.'
New York Times Review of Books

'A fantastically gripping novel of romance under unexpected conditions.'
Cosmopolitan

About the Author

Ann Patchett

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.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th April 2002

Author

Ann Patchett

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Author's Website

annpatchett.com/

Publisher

Fourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Format

Paperback
336 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781841155838

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