Ann Patchett to receive 2007 Nashville Public Library Literary Award

Ann Patchett, bestselling author of critically acclaimed works including the award-winning Bel Canto and new novel Run, will receive the 2007 Nashville Public Library Literary Award at a black-tie Gala on Nov. 3, at the Main Library, 615 Church St.

The event benefits the Nashville Public Library Foundation, which supports Bringing Books to Life, the library’s preschool literacy program, as well as other children’s programming at the downtown library and art exhibits in the library’s gallery spaces. Tickets are available by calling 615-880-2610 or visiting

A series of free public events exploring Ann Patchett’s life and work will be offered prior to the Gala:

A Conversation with Ann Patchett
Saturday, November 3 at 10 a.m.
Auditorium at Main Library, 615 Church St.
Ann Patchett reads from her books and discusses her new novel, Run, at this public program followed by a book signing.

About Ann Patchett
Tuesday, October 16 at 6:30 p.m.

Green Hills Branch Library, 3701 Benham Ave.
This overview of the writer’s work, sprinkled with memories and personal anecdotes about the development of Patchett’s writing career over the past 30 years, will be presented by her friend Nancy Grimes, a teacher at Harpeth Hall School. For more information, call 615-862-5863.

The Third Thursday Book Club: Bel Canto
October 18 at 6 p.m.
Edmondson Pike Branch Library, 5501 Edmondson Pk.
This popular monthly book club will discuss Ann Patchett’s multiple award-winning breakthrough novel, Bel Canto, about an opera singer and the intersection of South American rebels and guests at a formal dinner interrupted by a hostage crisis. Call 615-880-3957 for more information.

Born in Los Angeles in 1963 and raised in Nashville, Ann Patchett attended Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. In 1990, she won a residential fellowship to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts where she wrote her debut novel, The Patron Saint of Liars. The book, about a pregnant woman who leaves her husband to live in a home for unwed mothers in Kentucky, was named a New York Times Notable Book of 1992.

The following year, Patchett received a Bunting Fellowship from the Mary Ingrahm Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College. Her second novel, Taft, the story of a Memphis bar manager whose son is taken away from him, won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize in 1994.

The Magician’s Assistant, Patchett’s third book about a widow who discovers her husband’s secret past in small-town Nebraska, was short-listed for England’s prestigious Orange Prize and earned her a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Her next novel, Bel Canto, won the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in 2002. Her story about an opera singer and the interactions between South American rebels and guests at a formal dinner during a hostage crisis was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and named the Book Sense “Book of the Year.” The book sold more than one million copies in the United States and has been translated into thirty languages.

Truth & Beauty, a memoir of Patchett’s friendship with the writer Lucy Grealy, won the Chicago Tribune's Heartland Prize, the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Alex Award from the American Library Association. It was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle and Entertainment Weekly.

Patchett was guest editor of Best American Short Stories 2006 and has written for numerous publications including New York Times, Washington Post, Harper's, Atlantic Monthly, Gourmet and Vogue.

Her latest novel, Run, is a story about the complex relationships in a Boston politician’s family after a relative is saved from near death by an unknown woman.

About the Nashville Public Library Literary Award

The Nashville Public Library Literary Award recognizes distinguished authors and other individuals for their contributions to the world of books and reading.

Each year the award brings an outstanding individual to Nashville to honor his or her achievements, to benefit the library and to promote books, literacy and reading. Previous winners include David Halberstam, David McCullough and John Updike.

The 2006 Gala raised more than $250,000 in support of the library’s preschool literacy program, Bringing Books to Life, as well as children's programming at the downtown library and art exhibits in the library's gallery spaces.

For more information about the Nashville Public Library Foundation, call executive director Tari Hughes, 615-880-2610 or visit


Photo by Margo Amala on Unsplash

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