ann patchett

Notes from Ann: Shelter

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I had meant to write a post about my adventures on book tour, but book tour just isn’t interesting anymore. A lot of things that seemed attention-worthy up until the evening of November 8th have fallen flat for me. I’m wracking my brain trying to figure out what I should be doing now, today, in order to be helpful to my country and my community. I would like to be useful and loving. I would like to fill my toolbox with decency, kindness and respect, patience and bravery. You know, live by example. What to do? What to do? Read the rest of this entry »

“None of it happened and all of it’s true” – Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth

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Photo by Heidi Ross
Ann Patchett in the back storeroom at Parnassus Books with her dog, Sparky (photo: Heidi Ross)

Those of us who work and shop at Parnassus Books have a unique perspective on Ann Patchett’s novels, because we witness their creation at somewhat close range. We’re here in the store when Ann comes in to pick up a stack of books she has ordered for research. We’re hanging around when she finishes a morning of writing and brings her pup Sparky over to run around the shop. We weigh in on characters’ names and book cover designs, and we celebrate when the manuscript has finally been turned in. But we’re not inside Ann’s head. We know some things about the story, but we don’t know all the ins and outs and whys and hows — unless, of course, we ask. Read the rest of this entry »

Notes from Ann: Late to the Party

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Some books make you think about childhood friends. Tavia Cathcart, Trudy Corbin, and Ann Patchett at St. Bernard Academy, Nashville, 1971

Somewhere in the middle of the second volume of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series, I emailed my friend Beverly Lowry and asked her if she’d read the books. Beverly wrote back saying, “My life has not been the same since I read the last page of the fourth book. I even considered going immediately back to page one, book one. I was totally absorbed and in love with every word.” Read the rest of this entry »

Ann Patchett Welcomes You to Nashville!

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Welcome to Nashville and the Southern Festival of Books! We hope you’ll have a wonderful time exploring all the festival has to offer, as well as the fabulous dining, sightseeing, art, and music that make Nashville such a fun place to live and to visit. We’ve learned over the past couple of years that there’s always a little flurry of visitors to Parnassus just before the Festival kicks off at noon; so this year, we’ve prepared a special welcome! Read the rest of this entry »

Something New from These Two

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Melissa Ann Pinney and Ann Patchett with their new book, Two
Melissa Ann Pinney and Ann Patchett with their collaboration, Two

One of the gifts we’re recommending for Mothers’ Day this year is Two, the captivating new book from photographer Melissa Ann Pinney, edited by our own Ann Patchett, with essays from authors including Edwidge Danticat, Barbara Kingsolver, Richard Russo, Elizabeth Gilbert, Susan Orlean, Alan Gurganus, Maile Meloy, Elizabeth McCracken, Jane Hamilton, and Billy Collins. For that matter, it would also be a great gift for dads. Or grads. Or a newly married couple. Or… pretty much anyone. In fact, we’re so sure it’s a crowd-pleaser that we chose this book to send to all 400+ members of our First Editions Club this month.  Read the rest of this entry »

Notes from Ann: Resolutions

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Ann with fellow author Daniel Pink, sharing reading recommendations on a PBS Newshour segment filmed at Politics & Prose in Washington, DC

January is always my happiest month. Yes, the weather is dismal, but dismal weather gives me an excuse to stay indoors and read and write, which is really what I want to be doing in May when it’s gorgeous outside. I love January because the exhausting holidays are finally over and the world is quiet again. (I don’t mean the big world, just my own small one.)

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Notes from Ann: The Great American Novel

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Scott Turow, Ann Patchett, Tari Hughes, Dianne and Kent Oliver at The Nashville Public Library Literary Award Gala on November 8, 2014. Turow was honored for his contributions to the world of books and reading.  (photo by Richard Rogers for The Tennessean)
Novelists everywhere! Authors Scott Turow and Ann Patchett; Nashville Public Library Foundation president Tari Hughes; Dianne Oliver and Nashville Public Library director Kent Oliver at The Nashville Public Library Literary Award Gala on November 8, 2014. Turow was honored for his contributions to the world of books and reading. (photo by Richard Rogers for The Tennessean)

I met Maureen Corrigan at the Southern Festival of Books in October. I knew I shouldn’t have introduced myself but I couldn’t help it. I’m crazy about Maureen’s book reviews on Fresh Air. I trust her judgment and her straightforward voice. She had come by the Parnassus tent looking for me, but I’d missed her. I went to hear her presentation on her new book And So We Read On: How the Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures and found it fascinating. If I’d had any sense I would have applauded politely and then slipped out the back, but instead I asked Maureen if she wanted me to drive her over to see the bookstore. Read the rest of this entry »