The beloved New York Times bestselling author reflects on home, family, friendships and writing in this deeply personal collection of essays.
“Any story that starts will also end.” As a writer, Ann Patchett knows what the outcome of her fiction will be. Life, however, often takes turns we do not see coming. Patchett ponders this truth in these wise essays that afford a fresh and intimate look into her mind and heart.
At the center of These Precious Days is the title essay, a surprising and moving meditation on an unexpected friendship that explores “what it means to be seen, to find someone with whom you can be your best and most complete self.” When Patchett chose an early galley of actor and producer Tom Hanks’ short story collection to read one night before bed, she had no idea that this single choice would be life changing. It would introduce her to a remarkable woman—Tom’s brilliant assistant Sooki—with whom she would form a profound bond that held monumental consequences for them both.
A literary alchemist, Patchett plumbs the depths of her experiences to create gold: engaging and moving pieces that are both self-portrait and landscape, each vibrant with emotion and rich in insight. Turning her writer’s eye on her own experiences, she transforms the private into the universal, providing us all a way to look at our own worlds anew, and reminds how fleeting and enigmatic life can be.
From the enchantments of Kate DiCamillo’s children’s books (author of the upcoming The Beatryce Prophecy) to youthful memories of Paris; the cherished life gifts given by her three fathers to the unexpected influence of Charles Schultz’s Snoopy; the expansive vision of Eudora Welty to the importance of knitting, Patchett connects life and art as she illuminates what matters most. Infused with the author’s grace, wit, and warmth, the pieces in These Precious Days resonate deep in the soul, leaving an indelible mark—and demonstrate why Ann Patchett is one of the most celebrated writers of our time.
It seems that some people are just natural born authors. American author, Ann Patchett, is one of those people. She was born in Los Angeles, California in 1963 to a police captain and a nurse, who divorced when Ann was a young girl. Her mother remarried and moved the family to Nashville, Tennessee in 1969.
Ann attended St Bernard Academy school for girls in Nashville, then attended Sarah Lawrence College, followed by the Iowa Writer's Workshop at University of Iowa and Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. It was Provincetown where she wrote her first novel, The Patron Saint of Liars, followed by Taft, The Magician's Assistant, Bel Canto, Run, State of Wonder, and Commonwealth. Three of her books are non-fiction......Truth and Beauty, What Now?, and This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. Her first children's book came in 2019, Lambslide, and was beautifully illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. Her books have been translated into more than 30 languages.
After winning numerous literary awards and being on bestseller lists, Ann co-founded her own bookstore, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee with Karen Hayes. She currently lives in Nashville with her husband, Karl VanDevender, and their dog Sparky.