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Interviews | March 17, 2014 5 comments
It's hard to believe that 200 years ago, the Pacific Northwest was one of the most remote and isolated regions in the world. In 1810, four years... Continue »
Ann Patchett (2008)Describe your latest project.
The book is called What Now? It's a slightly longer version of a graduation speech I gave at Sarah Lawrence in May 2006. An editor read it and suggested making it into a little book. My hope is that it encourages people to be at peace with the many unknown elements of the future. At first I wasn't sure it really qualified as a book (I have long referred to it as a pamphlet) but Chip Kidd designed the whole thing and it turned out beautifully. He contributed an enormous amount to this project.
I can think of a lot of authors people should read. Henry James is always a good one, but I'm always recommending my friend Patrick Ryan. I thought his first book, Send Me, was absolute genius and it never got anywhere near the attention it deserved.
Offer a favorite sentence or passage from another writer.
"Vanderbank only smiled at her in silence, but Mitchy took it up. 'There's nobody too good for you, of course; only you're not quite, don't you know? in our set. You're in Mrs. Grendon's. I know what you're going to say that she hasn't got any set, that she's just a loose little white flower dropped on the indifferent bosom of the world. But you're that small sprig of tender green that, added to her, makes her immediately "compose".'"
How did the last good book you read end up in your hands and why did you read it?
Have you ever made a literary pilgrimage?
What is your idea of absolute happiness?
Who's wilder on tour, rock bands or authors?
Aside from other writers, name some artists from whom you draw inspiration and talk a little about their work.
Recommend five or more books on a single subject of personal interest or expertise.
Five Books I'll Never Get Tired of Looking At
Paul Klee, Philippe Comte, editor.
Lucian Freud. Bruce Bernard and Derek Birdsall, editors.
Francis Bacon, John Rothenstein and Ronald Alley, editors.
Living Room, Nick Waplington, artist.
Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, Albertus Sebe, artist.
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Ann Patchett is the author of five novels: The Patron Saint of Liars, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; Taft, which won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize; The Magician's Assistant, for which she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship; Bel Canto, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award, England's Orange Prize, the Book Sense Book of the Year Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and most recently, the bestselling Run. It has been translated into thirty languages. Her nonfiction book, Truth and Beauty, was a New York Times bestseller and the winner of a Books for a Better Life Award. Patchett lives in Nashville, Tennessee.