(Photo above: Ann Patchett)
Ann Patchett is a celebrated author, a devoted reader and a champion of literary culture—which makes her an ideal part of the 2014/15 Author! Author! literary series. Patchett will talk about writing, reading and bookselling when she speaks at Bend High School on Friday, March 6, at 7pm.
Patchett is a frequent contributor to many publications, including The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly and The Wall Street Journal. She has served on the board of the Nashville Public Library Foundation and 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.” In November of that year she opened Parnassus Books, a new refuge for the written word in the old Athens of the South.
In 2012 Time magazine named Patchett 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 Patchett as “a woman of wisdom, determination, generosity, and courage.”
Patchett published her first story in The Paris Review while still a student at Sarah Lawrence College. Her 2001 novel Bel Canto was awarded the Orange Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award. The world-renowned Lyric Opera Company of Chicago has commissioned a production based on the book; it will premiere this year. Patchett’s most recent novel, State of Wonder, was deemed “the smartest, most exciting novel of the summer” by The Washington Post in 2011, and Library Journal described it as “superbly rendered.”
Patchett also writes nonfiction, including Truth & Beauty: A Friendship, which won the Heartland Prize for Nonfiction in 2004. Her latest nonfiction entry is This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, based on her own experiences.
Patchett is the third author to visit Central Oregon as part of the Deschutes Public Library Foundation’s 2014/15 Author! Author! season. Novelists Jess Walter and Garth Stein visited in September and February, respectively, and Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black, will close the season on May 29. Project director Chantal Strobel says the momentum grows each season, and planning is already underway for the 2015/16 lineup of authors. “We’ve been so pleased by the community’s embrace of the series,” says Strobel. “Their enthusiasm shows that Deschutes County is a vital hub in Oregon’s cultural and literary landscape.”
In an effort to increase exposure to literature and engage teens in civic dialogue, the Library Foundation also provides free tickets for up to 200 regional high school students to attend the four author presentations.
Those students also receive free copies of the authors’ books.“The Library Foundation works closely with high schools in our area to provide books for students to read prior to each author’s visit,” Strobel says. “This is part of an effort to reach out to young adults in the region and to expose them to quality literature while engaging them in discussions regarding the books’ themes.”
General admission tickets are just $20 each. Those tickets, as well as preferred seating tickets that include access to a private reception with the author, are available at www.dplfoundation.org. Revenue generated by ticket sales is used by the Deschutes Public Library Foundation to support and enhance Library programs and services.
Author! Author! is made possible by ticket sales and by these presenting sponsors: The Starview Foundation, Echo Fund, Jackson Insurance & Financial Services, Kendall Porsche of Bend, Deschutes Brewery, Oregon Humanities and The Bulletin.
Tickets are available online at www.dplfoundation.org ($20 for general admission; $75 for preferred seating and author reception).