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Ann Patchett

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Ann Patchett
Patchett speaks during the Kennedy Center Honors, 2023
Patchett speaks during the Kennedy Center Honors, 2023
Born (1963-12-02) December 2, 1963 (age 60)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationNovelist, memoirist
EducationSarah Lawrence College (BA)
University of Iowa (MFA)
GenreLiterary fiction
Notable worksBel Canto

Ann Patchett (born December 2, 1963) is an American author. She received the 2002 PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction in the same year, for her novel Bel Canto.[1][2] Patchett's other novels include The Patron Saint of Liars (1992),[3] Taft (1994),[4] The Magician's Assistant (1997), Run (2007),[5] State of Wonder (2011), Commonwealth (2016), The Dutch House (2019), and Tom Lake (2023).[6] The Dutch House was a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.[7]


Ann Patchett was born on December 2, 1963, in Los Angeles, California, to Frank Patchett (a Los Angeles police captain who arrested Charles Manson and Sirhan Sirhan[8]) and Jeanne Ray (a nurse who later became a novelist).[9] She is the younger of two daughters. Her mother and father divorced when she was young. Her mother remarried, and when Patchett was six years old the family moved to Nashville, Tennessee.[10]

Patchett attended St. Bernard Academy, a private Catholic school for girls in Nashville, Tennessee run by the Sisters of Mercy.[3][4] Following graduation, she attended Sarah Lawrence College.[11][4]

After college, she attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa, where she lived with the memoirist and poet Lucy Grealy. Their time as roommates and their life-long friendship was the subject of her 2004 memoir Truth & Beauty.

In her early twenties Patchett married; however, the marriage lasted only about a year.[12]

In her late twenties, Patchett won a fellowship to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts;[3] during her time there, she wrote her first novel The Patron Saint of Liars, which was published in 1992.[3][9]

In 2010, she co-founded a bookstore with Karen Hayes, Parnassus Books, in Nashville, Tennessee, which opened in November 2011.[13] In 2016, Parnassus Books expanded, adding a bookmobile to expand the reach of the bookstore in Nashville.[14]

Patchett lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, Karl VanDevender.[15] It is Patchett’s second marriage.[16]


Patchett at the Miami Book Fair International 2014

Patchett's first published work was in The Paris Review, a story that appeared before she graduated from Sarah Lawrence College.[9]

For nine years, Patchett worked at Seventeen magazine,[3] where she wrote primarily non-fiction and the magazine published one of every five articles she wrote. She ended her relationship with the magazine after getting into a dispute with an editor and exclaiming, "I’ll never darken your door again!"[3]

Patchett has written for numerous publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, O, The Oprah Magazine, ELLE, GQ, Gourmet, and Vogue.[11] In 1992, Patchett published The Patron Saint of Liars.[4] The novel was made into a television movie of the same title in 1998.[17] Her second novel Taft won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize in fiction in 1994.[4] Her third novel, The Magician’s Assistant, was released in 1997.[18] In 2001, her fourth novel Bel Canto was her breakthrough, becoming a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist,[19] and winning the PEN/Faulkner Award.[1]

A friend of writer Lucy Grealy, Patchett has written a memoir about their relationship, Truth & Beauty: A Friendship. Patchett's novel, Run,[5] was released in October 2007. What now?, published in April 2008, is an essay based on a commencement speech she delivered at her alma mater in 2006.

Patchett is the editor of the 2006 volume of the anthology series The Best American Short Stories.[20] In 2011, she published State of Wonder, a novel set in the Amazon jungle, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize.[2][21] In 2016 she published her novel Commonwealth to widespread critical acclaim. Patchett called the book her "autobiographical first novel," explaining, “The wonderful thing about publishing this book at 52 is that I know that I am [already] capable of working from a place of deep imagination.”[22]

In 2019, Patchett published her first children's book, Lambslide,[23] and the novel The Dutch House,[24] a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.[25]

In November 2021, she published These Precious Days, an essay collection she describes as the sequel to This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage. These Precious Days received wide acclaim, with review aggregator Book Marks rating it a “rave” based on 25 reviews.[26] In 2023, Ann Patchett published a novel called Tom Lake, and it was ranked a The New York Times Best Sellers.[27]

Her work has been translated into more than 30 languages.[28]

Awards and honors[edit]

For specific works[edit]

For corpus[edit]

Published works[edit]


  • — (1992). The Patron Saint of Liars. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 039561306X. OCLC 24796726.
  • — (1994). Taft. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 9780395694619. Retrieved 14 September 2016. Reprinted in the following year, see Taft. New York, NY: Random House. 1995. ISBN 0804113882. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  • — (1997). The Magician's Assistant. New York: Harcourt Brace. ISBN 9780151002634. OCLC 36225079.
  • — (2001). Bel Canto. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 9780060188733. OCLC 45466121.
  • — (2007). Run. New York: HarperLuxe. ISBN 9780061363931. OCLC 173640797.
  • — (2011). State of Wonder. New York: Harper. ISBN 978-0062049803. OCLC 649701863.
  • — (2016). Commonwealth. New York, NY: Harper. ISBN 9780062491794. OCLC 932576291.
  • — (2019). The Dutch House. New York, NY: Harper. ISBN 9780062963673.[38]
  • — (2023). Tom Lake. New York, NY: Harper. ISBN 9780063327528 [39]



  1. ^ a b c PEN/Faulkner Staff (2002). "Past Winners & Finalists: 2002—Ann Patchett, Bel Canto". penfaulkner.org. Archived from the original on 21 December 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Mark Brown (April 17, 2012). "Orange Prize 2012 Shortlist Puts Ann Patchett in Running for Second Victory". The Guardian. Retrieved May 14, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Weich, Dave; Patchett, Ann (June 27, 2001). "Exclusive to Powell's, Author Interviews: Ann Patchett Hits All the Right Notes". Archived from the original on February 4, 2006. Retrieved 2022-05-14.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Dukes, Jessica; Patchett, Ann. "Meet the Writers: Ann Patchett". barnesandnoble.com. Archived from the original on 8 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-02.
  5. ^ a b Hart, Jennifer; Patchett, Ann (September 24, 2008). "Book Club Girl Talks With Ann Patchett, Author of Run". Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  6. ^ "Ann Patchett". Goodreads. Retrieved 2016-11-04.
  7. ^ Maher, John (May 4, 2020). "Moser, Whitehead, McDaniel, Grandin, Boyer, Brown Win 2020 Pulitzers". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2022-05-14.
  8. ^ Lesser, Wendy (22 November 2013). "What's In Store". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  9. ^ a b c Lundquist, Molly. "State of Wonder - Ann Patchett - Author Biography - LitLovers". www.litlovers.com. Retrieved 2022-05-14.
  10. ^ Giles, Wanda H.; Bonner, J. H. (2009). Twenty-First-Century American Novelists: Second Series. Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 350. Detroit: Gale Cengage Learning. ISBN 9780787681685 – via Literature Resource Center. Ann Patchett
  11. ^ a b Patchett, Ann. "About Ann" (autobiography). annpatchett.com. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  12. ^ Alex Witchel (2021-11-30). "Ann Patchett Has Thoughts on a Bunch of Subjects". The New York Times. Retrieved 2022-05-14.
  13. ^ Patchett, Ann (December 2012). "The Bookstore Strikes Back". The Atlantic. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  14. ^ Alter, Alexandra (Mar 24, 2016). "Ann Patchett's Nashville Bookstore Hits the Road, With Dogs in Tow". The New York Times. Retrieved 2022-05-14.
  15. ^ "Ann Patchett". Amazon.com.
  16. ^ Puig, Claudia. "'A Happy Marriage' weds Patchett's prose to essays". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2021-12-14.
  17. ^ Gyllenhaal, Stephen (1998-04-05), The Patron Saint of Liars, retrieved 2016-11-11
  18. ^ "The Magician's Assistant". seattlecentral.edu. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  19. ^ a b NBCC Staff (2001). "All Past National Book Critics Circle Award Winners and Finalists: 2001 Awards, Fiction Finalists". bookcritics.org [National Book Critics Circle]. Archived from the original on 18 October 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  20. ^ Books, Used, New, and Out of Print Books - We Buy and Sell - Powell's. "Best American Short Stories 2006 by Patchett, Ann". www.powells.com. Retrieved 2016-10-07.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  21. ^ "Orange prize shortlist 2012 - in pictures". the Guardian. 2012-04-17. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  22. ^ Patchett, Ann (September 8, 2017). "Ann Patchett Calls 'Commonwealth' Her 'Autobiographical First Novel'". NPR.org. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  23. ^ Hilboldt Allport, Brandy (4 May 2019). "Read All About It: Patchett tries hand at children's book with 'Lambslide'". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  24. ^ "Ann Patchett Explains Why She Had to Totally Rewrite her New Novel 'The Dutch House' And Her Problem with Villains". Time. Retrieved 2020-04-28.
  25. ^ Maher, John (May 4, 2020). "Moser, Whitehead, McDaniel, Grandin, Boyer, Brown Win 2020 Pulitzers". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  26. ^ "Book Marks reviews of These Precious Days: Essays by Ann Patchett". Book Marks. Retrieved 2021-12-14.
  27. ^ "Combined Print & E-Book Fiction - Best Sellers - Books - The New York Times". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-09-28.
  28. ^ "In "These Precious Days," Ann Patchett reflects on her life and art". WYPR. Retrieved 2022-04-02.
  29. ^ Owens, Ann Marie Deer. "Vanderbilt Libraries host conversation with Moser and Patchett". Vanderbilt University. Retrieved 2019-09-29.
  30. ^ "Ann Patchett Wins Orange Prize for Fiction 2002". WritersWrite.com. Writers Write Inc. 27 June 2002. Retrieved May 14, 2022.
  31. ^ "Book Sense Book of the Year - Book awards - LibraryThing". Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  32. ^ Wellcome Collection Staff (2011). "All books A-Z: State of Wonder, By Ann PatchettS, Shortlist 2011". wellcomebookprize.org [Wellcome Collection's Wellcome Book Prize]. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  33. ^ Guggenheim Fndn. Staff (1995). "Fellows: Ann Patchett, 1995; Field of Study, Fiction". gf.org [John and Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation]. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  34. ^ Elizabeth Gilbert (April 18, 2012). "The World's 100 Most Influential People, 2012: Ann Patchett, Writer". Time. Archived from the original on April 19, 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  35. ^ Watts, James D. Jr. (March 30, 2014). "Ann Patchett is 2014 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award Recipient". Tulsa World. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  36. ^ "Kenyon Review for Literary Achievement". KenyonReview.org. Archived from the original on 2018-01-09. Retrieved 2017-08-20.
  37. ^ "2017 Newly Elected Members – American Academy of Arts and Letters". artsandletters.org. Retrieved 2021-12-14.
  38. ^ "The Dutch House - Ann Patchett - Hardcover". HarperCollins Publishers: World-Leading Book Publisher. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  39. ^ Patchett, Ann. "Tom Lake". HarperCollins. HarperCollinsPublishers. Retrieved 2 August 2023.
  40. ^ Kellogg, Carolyn (August 29, 2011). "Ann Patchett's lessons on writing, from Byliner". Los Angeles Times.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]