“Patchett's sympathetic instinct, the magical trick she performs which ensures that every novel she writes is a work to be embraced, is always to pull the reader in, not to alienate her...Patchett understands our deepest, darkest, unvoiceable fears”
– Independent on Sunday
“There is a stillness and beauty to Ann Patchett's writing that takes the breath away…Patchett's mastery of language is matched only by her narrative abilities”
"Reading fiction not only develops our imagination and creativity, it gives us the skills to be alone. It gives us the ability to feel empathy for people we've never met, living lives we couldn't possibly experience for ourselves, because the book puts us inside the character's skin." – Ann Patchett
Ann Patchett is the author of six novels, The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, The Magician’s Assistant, Bel Canto, Run, and State of Wonder. She was the editor of The Best American Short Stories (2006), and has written three books of nonfiction, Truth & Beauty, about her friendship with the writer, Lucy Grealy, What Now?, an expansion of her graduation address at Sarah Lawrence College, and, most recently, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, a collection of essays that examines the theme of commitment.
A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Patchett has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including England’s Orange Prize, PEN/Faulkner Award, the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Book Sense Book of the Year, a Guggenheim Fellowship, The Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize, The Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the American Booksellers Association Award for “Most Engaging Author," and the Women’s National Book Association Award. Her books have been both New York Times Notable Books and New York Times bestsellers. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages.
In November, 2011, she opened Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, with her partner Karen Hayes. She has since gone on to be a spokesperson for independent booksellers, talking about books and bookstores on “The Colbert Report,” NPR, “The Martha Stewart Show,” and “The CBS Early Show.” She was the honorary chair of World Book Night along with James Patterson. In 2012, she was named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
In Commonwealth, Patchett tells the story of two families whose fate is set in motion by a drunken kiss at a christening party. Spanning fifty years and reaching across the country, six children and four parents grow up, and grow old, while trying to sort out the events that changed their lives.
Ann Patchett lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, Karl Van Devender, and their dog, Sparky.
State of Wonder (2011)
Bel Canto (2001)
The Magician's Assistant (1997)
The Patron Saint of Liars (1992)
This is the Story of a Happy Marriage (2014)
The Getaway Car: A Practical Memoir About Writing and Life (2011)
What Now? (2008)
Truth and Beauty: A Friendship (2004)