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Ann Patchett biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Read-Alikes

Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett Biography

Ann Patchett is the author of novels, most recently the #1 New York Times bestselling Tom Lake, works of nonfiction, and children's books. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the PEN/Faulkner, the Women's Prize in the U.K., and the Book Sense Book of the Year. Her novel The Dutch House was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. Time magazine named her one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. President Biden awarded her the National Humanities Medal in recognition of her contributions to American culture. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is the owner of Parnassus Books.

Ann Patchett's website

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Interview

Discover how Ann Patchett, who knew nothing about opera, learned all she needed to know in order to develop the opera singing lead character in Bel Canto; and which operas are now her favorites.

What inspired you to write this novel?
Usually it's hard to pin down the exact point at which you come up with an idea for a novel but this one is easy: December 17th, 1996, the night that the terrorist organization Tupac Amaru took over the Japanese embassy in Lima, Peru. I'm sure I didn't know that day that this story would turn into Bel Canto, but I was completely focused on it from the start. It had so many elements that were compelling to me: confinement, survival, the construction of family. For a long time I'd wanted to find a way to experience the things I read about in the paper, to grieve for disasters that had no immediate affect on my life. Turning a tragedy I knew nothing about into this novel was part of that process.

Were you an opera aficionado prior to writing Bel Canto?
I wasn't. I knew as much about opera as I did about baseball, which is to say nothing. But once I came up with the character of Roxane Coss I threw myself into learning about it whole-heartedly. The best thing I did was to buy a book called Opera 101 by Fred Plotkin. It tells you how to listen and what to listen to. It takes you through everything you need to know step by step. It was my bible. Then I listened ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Ann Patchett at BookBrowse
Tom Lake jacket These Precious Days jacket The Dutch House jacket Commonwealth jacket
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Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for Ann Patchett but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose read-alikes

  • Katherine Arden

    Katherine Arden

    Katherine Arden is the New York Times bestselling author of the Winternight trilogy and the Small Spaces Quartet. In addition to writing, she enjoys aimless travel, growing vegetables, and running wild through the woods with ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Dutch House

    Try:
    The Warm Hands of Ghosts
    by Katherine Arden

  • Chloe Benjamin

    Chloe Benjamin

    Chloe is a writer from San Francisco, CA. She is the author of The Immortalists, a New York Times bestseller, and The Anatomy of Dreams, which received the 2014 Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award. Chloe is a graduate of Vassar ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Commonwealth

    Try:
    The Immortalists
    by Chloe Benjamin

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