Author Ann Patchett to Speak at Louisville's Clifton Center

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Ann Patchett - Nashvillian, co-proprietor of Parnassus Books, and award-winning writer - will be in Louisville this Friday, November 15th to discuss and sign her new book of essays, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage.  Carmichael's Bookstore will host the event at 7 p.m. at the Clifton Center, the cultural epicenter of the city's Clifton Heights neighborhood.  The Clifton Center is a beautifully restored facility that, over the last 85 years, has served as a Catholic elementary school, a home for multiple theatre groups, and a special needs school before it was restored for its current use as an independent non-profit that serves as a host for art exhibits, concerts, movies, weddings, and academic lectures and other educational programs. 

Patchett, who was born in Los Angeles, moved to Nashville when she was six and continues to live there with her physician husband and beloved dog Sparky.  She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the Iowa Writer's Workshop, the author of six literary fiction novels and three works of non-fiction, and the recipient of multiple awards, including the PEN/Faulkner Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship.  Patchett first demonstrated her talents with the wonderfully titled The Patron Saint of Liars, which is set in a rural Kentucky home for unwed mothers and tells the story of the sad and damaged Rose, pregnant but married, through the eyes of not only Rose, but her (second) husband and her daughter Cecilia.  Bel Canto, Patchett's fourth novel, solidified the writer's gifts on a larger scale:  based loosely on true events, the book starts with a bungled terrorist plot but is primarily about the evolving relationships of the hostages over several months.  Patchett was clearly in love with her characters in Bel Canto.  You'll fall in love with them too. 

After two of the biggest bookstores in Nashville closed, Patchett co-founded Parnassus Books, which opened in a Green Hills strip mall in 2012 and changed the city's literary landscape.  The bookstore is aptly named; in Greek mythology, Mount Parnassus was the home of poetry, literature, music, and learning.  Parnassus Books is no mega-chain superstore.  It's 2,500 square feet, cozy and filled with books you would actually want to read, and is a frequent stop for some big ticket writers.  Donna Tartt, Marisha Pessel, Pat Conroy, and Elizabeth Gilbert have all made recent visits.  My favorite feature of the store?  The Parthenon-inspired, child-sized entryway to the children's section in the back of the shop.  It's simply magical. 

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Event details:
Friday, November 15th
7:00 p.m.
The Clifton Center
2117 Payne Street
Tickets are $5 or free with your purchase of Patchett's new book