Winner of the 2002 Orange Prize for Fiction.
In Bel Canto, Ann Patchett weaves a tale of music, romance, hostage-taking and diplomacy. Character and relationship driven, it is a novel that could be violent, but is gentle; could be boring, but is intriguing; could be predictable, but is surprising. One of my favourite novels this year, it is a great read for summer or any time.(Barb)
Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of the powerful businessman Mr. Hosokawa. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening -- until a band of gunwielding terrorists takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, a moment of great beauty, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different continents become compatriots, intimate friends, and lovers.
Ann Patchett was born in Los Angeles in 1963, the youngest daughter of her nurse mother and police officer father.
While attending Sarah Lawrence College, Patchett took fiction writing classes with Alan Gurganus, Russell Banks, and Grace Paley. She sold her first story to the Paris Review, where it was published before her graduation. Patchett then went on to attend the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop.
In 1990, Patchett won a residential fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. It is there that she wrote her first novel, The Patron Saint of Liars, which received a James A. Michener/ Copernicus Award for a book in progress. In 1993, she received a Bunting Fellowship from the Mary Ingrahm Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College.
Patchett's second novel, Taft, was awarded the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for the best work of fiction in 1994. Her third novel, The Magician's Assistant, was short-listed for England's Orange Prize and earned her a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1994. In October of the same year, just three days after the official release of The Magician's Assistant, Patchett was awarded the Nashville Banner Tennessee Writer of the Year Award.
She has also written for numerous publications, including The New York Times Magazine and Gourmet.
Ann Patchett's most recent novel,Bel Canto, won the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Patchett currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
About this Author
Ann Patchett is the author of six novels, including Bel Canto (winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize), and the nonfiction bestsellers What now? and Truth & Beauty. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is co-owner of Parnassus Books.
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