Ann Patchett Quotes

Ann Patchett (born December 2, 1963) is an American author. She received the 2002 PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction in the same year, for her novel Bel Canto. Patchett's other novels include The Patron Saint of Liars (1992), Taft (1994), The Magician's Assistant (1997), Run (2007), State of Wonder (2011), and Commonwealth (2016)

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Ann Patchett


I was very influenced by The Magic Mountain. It's a book that had a huge impact on me. I loved that as a shape for a novel: put a bunch of people in a beautiful place, give them all tuberculosis, make them all stay in a fur sleeping bag for several years and see what happens.

Ann Patchett


You see an absolutely brilliant film later, as an adult, and you walk out thinking about what to have for dinner. Whereas something like Jaws winds up having a huge effect on me. If only my parents had been taking me to Kurosawa films when I was eight, but no.

Ann Patchett


Well, I always say that the two things I was most disastrous at in my life, being a teenager and being a wife, were the two things I really wound up cashing in on when I was writing fluffy magazine pieces.

Ann Patchett


Coming back is the thing that enables you to see how all the dots in your life are connected, how one decision leads you another, how one twist of fate, good or bad, brings you to a door that later takes you to another door, which aided by several detours--long hallways and unforeseen stairwells--eventually puts you in the place you are now.

Ann Patchett


the story of my marriage, which is the great joy and astonishment of my life, is too much like a fairy tale, the German kind, unsweetened by Disney.

Ann Patchett


The Swedish he knew was mostly from Bergman films. He had learned it as a college student, matching the subtitles to the sounds. In Swedish, he could only converse on the darkest of subjects.

Ann Patchett


Part of it is living in Tennessee. I'm so out of the loop. And as a person, I'm out of the loop. I'm oblivious by nature.

Ann Patchett


I think the best vacation is the one that relieves me of my own life for a while and then makes me long for it again.

Ann Patchett


People gave me such a bad time about wanting a baby. I didn't want a baby, and I still don't. I wanted a dog.

Ann Patchett


I think of Nashville as a very natural place. We're easy going, we are ourselves. There isn't a lot of preening or trying to impress. So it's an easy place to just be and that is a good state from which to write.

Ann Patchett


Reading fiction not only develops our imagination and creativity, it gives us the skills to be alone. It gives us the ability to feel empathy for people we've never met, living lives we couldn't possibly experience for ourselves, because the book puts us inside the character's skin.

Ann Patchett


Reading fiction is important. It is a vital means of imagining a life other than our own, which in turn makes us more empathetic beings. Following complex story lines stretches our brains beyond the 140 characters of sound-bite thinking, and staying within the world of a novel gives us the ability to be quiet and alone, two skills that are disappearing faster than the polar icecaps.

Ann Patchett


There was such an incredible logic to kissing, such a metal-to-magnet pull between two people that it was a wonder that they found the strength to prevent themselves from succumbing every second. Rightfully, the world should be a whirlpool of kissing into which we sank and never found the strength to rise up again.

Ann Patchett


Praise and criticism seem to me to operate exactly on the same level. If you get a great review, it's really thrilling for about ten minutes. If you get a bad review, it's really crushing for ten minutes. Either way, you go on.

Ann Patchett


To say it was a beautiful day would not begin to explain it. It was that day when the end of summer intersects perfectly with the start of fall .... [p.218 ff.]

Ann Patchett