Ann Patchett, the author of seven highly acclaimed novels as well as three books of nonfiction and numerous short stories and essays, will be the featured speaker at this year’s Dinner in the Library event, to be held on Friday, September 8, in Geisel Library.
A champion of literary culture as well as an award-winning author, Patchett is also a voracious reader who owns Parnassus Books, a bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband, Karl VanDevender. She opened Parnassus Books in 2011 with her business partner Karen Hayes, declaring, after the last of Nashville’s bookstores closed, “I have no interest in living in a city without a bookstore.” Since then, she has become a strong advocate for independent booksellers, championing books and bookstores on NPR, The Colbert Report , Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, The Martha Stewart Show, and The CBS Early Show, among others. Along with James Patterson, she was the honorary chair of World Book Night. In 2012, she was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World, for her efforts on behalf of the literary community.
A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Patchett has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships. Her fourth novel Bel Canto, published in 2001, was awarded the Orange Prize and the prestigious PEN/Faulkner Award. Patchett’s books, which have been translated into more than 30 languages include Commonwealth, The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, State of Wonder, The Magician’s Assistant, and Run. She was the editor of Best American Short Stories, 2006, and her nonfiction works include Truth & Beauty, about her friendship with the writer Lucy Grealy; What Now? an expansion of her graduation address at Sarah Lawrence College; and This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, a collection of essays examining the theme of commitment.
Look for additional information from the Library in the coming months about Dinner in the Library and how you can purchase tickets (library.ucsd.edu/give/dinner/).