Nazareth College is proud to be the first stop for New York Times best-selling author Ann Patchett's tour of Rochester as part of this year's tenth annual "If All of Rochester Read the Same Book" program sponsored by Writers & Books, Rochester's nationally renowned non-profit literary center. The 2010 program features Patchett as she visits Rochester's libraries, schools and universities to read and discuss her best-seller Bel Canto. She will be at Nazareth College on March 24 from 2 – 4 p.m. in the Shults Center Forum. It is free and open to the public, and she will be reading and also signing autographs and taking photos with fans. Copies of the book are for sale in the Nazareth College Bookstore. Nazareth College is located at 4245 East Ave., Rochester, N.Y. 14618. For more information about Patchett's Nazareth visit, call 585-389-2993. For a complete listing of Patchett's tour of Rochester, visit www.wab.org.
Patchett was born in Los Angeles and raised in Nashville. She attended Sarah Lawrence College, University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, and in 1990 won a residential fellowship to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Mass. She also received a Bunting Fellowship from the Mary Ingrahm Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College. Her other award-winning works include The Patron Saint of Liars (1992 New York Times Notable Book), Taft (1994 Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize winner), The Magician's Assistant (short-listed for England's Orange Prize and Guggenheim Fellowship winner), and Truth & Beauty (2004 Best Books of the Year award by the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Entertainment Weekly).
Bel Canto is the winner of both the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in 2002 and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. It has sold over a million copies in the United States and has been translated into 30 languages. Set in South America, during the birthday party of a powerful Japanese businessman who is expected to bring much needed wealth to the country, the book explores the unexpected bonds of friendship, compassion, and love that can form during times of turmoil. When the party is suddenly interrupted by gun-wielding terrorists the ideas above distract the characters from the real danger that has been set in motion and cannot be stopped.
Writers & Books initiated "If All of Rochester Read the Same Book" program in 2001. The goal is to encourage people to connect to others in the community through reading and discussion of a shared experience of literature. Each year Writers & Books selects one book for the community to explore together, leading to an extended residency by the author. An estimated 100,000 Rochester area readers have participated in this program since its start.
Patchett's presentation at Nazareth is sponsored by the Marie Callahan Memorial Fund and supported by the Graduate Literacy Programs.
Photo: © Melissa Ann Pinney