Featured Speaker

Ann Patchett

“Expect miracles when you read Ann Patchett's fiction.”
—The New York Times

Ann Patchett is a celebrated author, a devoted reader and a champion of literary culture. She has written seven books and is a frequent contributor to many publications, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

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." And so, 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 named Ann 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 Ann as "a woman of wisdom, determination, generosity and courage."

Ann published her first story in The Paris Review while still a student at Sarah Lawrence College. Bel Canto, her fourth novel, was published in 2001 and was awarded the Orange Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award. The world-renowned Lyric Opera Company of Chicago commissioned a production based on that novel that The Chicago Tribune called “a thought-provoking production worthy of a world-class opera company.”

There's a pink brick home in Nashville, Tennessee with a wide porch surrounded by old trees. It's Ann Patchett's favorite place and it's where she lives with her husband Karl, their dog Sparky and lots of books.