Author Ann Patchett to give free talk at WKU

Laurel Deppen

The Southern Kentucky Bookfest, an annual festival celebrating literacy in the community, partners with Barnes and Noble, Warren County Public Libraries and WKU Libraries every year to bring book-lovers together and to give them a chance to meet their favorite authors.

The event is held in April, and best-selling author Ann Patchett was supposed to attend. However, when she was unable to make the spring event, she rescheduled for this academic year.

Patchett has published multiple books throughout her career and is the recipient of several awards including the PEN/Faulkner award, which recognizes fine works of American fiction. She wrote other notable titles such as “Bel Canto” and “State of Wonder,” both of which were critically acclaimed and earned several mentions in multiple literary circles.

Her newest novel, “Commonwealth,” tells the story of two families made inseparable due to a scandalous affair. The story takes place over five decades and serves as a commentary on familial responsibility and the ownership of life stories. It was The New York Times’ Editor’s Choice and earned a spot on their “100 Notable Books of 2016” list.

Sara Volpi, literary outreach coordinator and Southern Kentucky Book Fest coordinator at WKU Libraries, believes this event is important to WKU as well as the Bowling Green community.

Volpi explained why she believes Patchett’s presentation could be beneficial to students.

“It’s great for students to hear from literary voices, whether that be fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or cross-genre. Ann’s books have been published in multiple countries, adapted for film, and are New York Times bestsellers. She writes fiction and nonfiction along with running a very successful bookstore, which could be inspiring for students who have a passion for the arts and wonder how that might translate into an occupation after college.”

Volpi continued to emphasize the value of this opportunity.

“Meeting authors is such an inspiring event; you leave feeling a little lighter, having learned from a professional who’s usually doing book events with excitement after having published a title they want to share with the world. It’s almost like going to a concert to see your favorite musician and then getting to talk to them one-on-one about their songwriting. Authors tend to be incredibly gracious with their time and love meeting fans and personalizing books.”

Patchett will read from “Commonwealth” and discuss her own creative processes and inspirations. She will answer audience questions and sign books immediately following the presentation. Book sales will be provided on site by Barnes and Noble. This event takes place between 6 and 8 p.m. on South Campus.

Reporter Laurel Deppen can be reached at (270)745-2655 and [email protected].