Left Bank brings Patchett to Midcoast

Jun 03, 2014
Ann Patchett

Belfast — Bestselling writer Ann Patchett will kick off this summer’s celebrations for Left Bank Books’ 10th birthday Friday, June 13, from 3 to 5 p.m., with a talk and signing. Given Patchett’s enormous popularity, her talk will take place across the street from Left Bank Books at the First Church UCC, which, as part of its educational outreach, has graciously offered its space for this special event.

Patchett, who won both the PEN/Faulkner Award and England’s Orange Prize for her best-selling novel “Bel Canto,” is an internationally acclaimed writer of fiction, nonfiction and essays. Her visit to Left Bank Books will be one of only two public appearances on her first “official” trip to Maine. The other is in Portland at a fundraiser with her good friend and fellow writer Richard Russo, an event for Wayfinder School.

Patchett, who lives in Nashville, is co-owner there of Parnassus Books, “An Independent Bookstore for Independent People.” Since opening her store in 2011, she has gone on to become a spokesperson for independent booksellers, talking about books and bookstores on “The Colbert Report,” NPR, “The Martha Stewart Show” and “The CBS Early Show.” In 2012, Patchett was named by Time as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Barbara Klausmeyer, one of the three owners of Left Bank Books, said she has wanted to meet the author ever since she read “Bel Canto.”

“I first wrote to her several years ago, but we couldn’t make anything happen. When it came time to start planning our 10th birthday celebration, Ann was still at the top of my ‘wish list.’ So I wrote to her again. And this time, she picked up the phone, called the shop, and said that she’d love to come to Belfast. I haven’t come down from the clouds yet,” Klausmeyer said.

Patchett also has written five other novels; was the editor of “Best American Short Stories 2006”; and has written three books of nonfiction including, most recently, “This is the Story of a Happy Marriage,” a collection of essays that examines the theme of commitment. Her books have been both New York Times Notable Books and bestsellers, and her work has been translated into more than 30 languages.

Although the talk and signing are free, reservations are necessary to attend the talk; contact Left Bank Books at 338-9009 or email leftbank@myfairpoint.net to reserve seats. Patchett’s talk will last about 45 minutes. She will then return to Left Bank Books, 109 Church St., for a signing. All of Patchett’s books are available at Left Bank Books, and a 10 percent discount will be given to all of her titles prior to June 13.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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