Novelist Ann Patchett’s Real Life Out In The Real World

PEN/Faulkner prize-winning author Ann Patchett on the art of telling the truth about love, friendship, work and art.


Award-winning, best selling novelist and author Ann Patchett. (Harper)

Novelist Ann Patchett is celebrated for her “sweep you away” stories in rain forest and revolution.  Fiction in “Bel Canto” and “State of Wonder” and more, that has won her crowds of devoted readers.  But there’s more to the story, of course.  Of a life in non-fiction that started out at Seventeen Magazine and climbed.  Of just plain life — loves and dogs and waitressing and a bookstore, of all things, now, in Nashville.  And beneath it all, the work.  The writing life.  And what it took win.  Up next On Point:  Ann Patchett on love, truth, writing, and just doing it.

— Tom Ashbrook


Ann Patchett, novelist, journalist and book store owner. Winner of the PEN/Faulker Award, author of “This Is the Story of A Happy Marriage,” “Bel Canto,” “State Of Wonder,” and many more.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Ann Patchett: By the Book — “After I read ‘Charlotte’s Web,’ I became so obsessed with pigs that my stepfather got me one for my ninth birthday. It was because of that pig that I became a vegetarian. That’s impact.”

Nashville Scene: Ann Patchett talks about how opening a bookstore led to her new essay collection — “Novelist Ann Patchett energetically resists all efforts to identify autobiographical elements in her fiction, but she has never been averse to personal writing in general: In fact, as she explains in her new book, ‘This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage,’ she got her start as a writer by publishing essays and features in national magazines. It’s one thing to write personally for a publication that will end up in the recycle bin almost immediately, and something entirely different to publish an autobiographical book, however, and Patchett has always preferred to issue her life’s story in incomplete, widely scattered episodes.”

Salon: Ann Patchett on her moment of ‘Girls’ fame: ‘I am so far out of it!’ — “‘It has been such an awesome conference,’ says Becky Ann Baker’s character, a prim middle-aged, upper-middle-class woman. ‘I never thought I’d meet so many other women who feel the same way I do about Ann Patchett.’ The joke here, perhaps, is that Patchett is the sort of tasteful, excellent, high-mid-brow author for whom women like Hannah’s mother would, near-universally, feel a strong affinity.”

Read An Excerpt From “This Is A Happy Marriage” By Ann Patchett

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