Ann Patchett is the author of The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, The Magician's Assistant, and most recently the PEN/Faulkner Award-winning Bel Canto. Born in Los Angeles, California in 1963 to a middle-class working family, she was raised by her mother in Nashville, Tenessee.
Patchett's work could be called Neo-Romantic in that it is suffused with the sentiment and warmth uncharacteristic of most post-modern literature. She resembles fellow authors David Guterson and Tracy Chevalier in this regard. More jaded readers frequently deride her lyrical, earnest prose, incredulous that an author could write something like
It was as if the voice came from the center part of the earth and by the sheer effort and diligence of her will she had pulled it up through the dirt and rock and through the floorboards of the house, up into her feet, where it pulled through her, reaching, lifting, warmed by her, and then out of the white lily of her throat and straight to God in heaven.1
and expect to be taken seriously. Readers willing to maintain their suspension of disbelief
more often than not are enraptured by Patchett's enchanting characters and prose.
Themes common to Patchett's work include love, family, and the transcendence of beauty. Patchett is growing increasingly popular, buoyed by PEN/Faulkner recognition and excellent word-of-mouth for Bel Canto. Patchett maintains a website at www.annpatchett.com
1. Patchett, Ann. Bel Canto. New York: Harper Perennial, 2002