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AS HEARD ON
MPR's All Things Considered,
July 11, 2001
LISTEN

RELATED LINKS
Ann Patchett's personal Web site

Chapter One from Bel Canto

"One on One"—an interview on the Pif Magazine Web site, following the release of The Patron Saint of Liars

 

More All Things Considered books

Bel CantoBel Canto
By Ann Patchett
HarperCollins, 2001

(From the publisher) Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of a powerful Japanese businessman. A famous American opera diva entertains the international guests. It is a night out of a fairytale—until a band of gun-wielding terrorists breaks in through the air-conditioning vents and takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario turns into something quite different—as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds... people from different countries and continents become compatriots... and passionate, ill-fated love blooms upon this unlikely soil.

About the author
Ann Patchett is the author of three previous novels, The Patron Saint of Liars, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; Taft, which won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize; and The Magician's Assistant, which earned her a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1994. She is also a recipient of the Nashville Banner Tennessee Writer of the Year Award. Patchett has written for many publications, including New York Times Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Village Voice, GQ, Elle, Gourmet, and Vogue.

Patchett attended Sarah Lawrence College, where she took writing classes with Alan Gurganus, Russell Banks, and Grace Paley. While an undergraduate, she sold her first story to the Paris Review. Patchett then went on to attend the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop, and in 1990 she won a residential fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Here she wrote her first novel, The Patron Saint of Liars, which was awarded a James A. Michner/Copernicus Award for a book in progress. The Patron Saint of Liars was adapted into a TV movie for CBS in 1997, and Patchett wrote the screenplay for Taft, which has been optioned by Morgan Freeman for a feature film.

Patchett lives in Nashville.

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