Eudora Welty Lecture
“Ann Patchett may well be the most beloved book person in America — not just for her irresistibly absorbing novels and memoirs . . . but for becoming a patron saint of readers and publishers . . . The Dutch House is another wonderful read by an author who embodies compassion.” —NPR
In June 2021, Ann Patchett travelled from her home in Nashville, Tennessee to visit the home museum of Eudora Welty in Jackson, Mississippi. After touring the home and gardens in communion with Welty’s spirit, Patchett ended the tour in the living room where she delivered this lecture and conversation. We invite you into this intimate moment steeped in literary history.
Patchett’s collection of essays, These Precious Days, will be published by Harper Collins in 2021 and this lecture, “The Nightstand,” will be included. These Precious Days is one of former US President Barack Obama's favourite reads of 2021.
Sponsored by the Eudora Welty Foundation, this recorded lecture celebrates creative origins shared in the spirit of Welty’s treasured One Writer’s Beginnings.
Ann Patchett is the author of seven novels: The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, The Magician’s Assistant, Bel Canto, Run, State of Wonder, and Commonwealth. She was the editor of Best American Short Stories, 2006, and has written three books of nonfiction—Truth & Beauty, about her friendship with the writer Lucy Grealy; What Now?, an expansion of her graduation address at Sarah Lawrence College; and This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, a collection of essays examining the theme of commitment. In 2019, she published her first children’s book, Lambslide, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser.
Patchett has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including England’s Orange Prize, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Book Sense Book of the Year, a Guggenheim Fellowship, The Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize, The Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the American Booksellers Association’s Most Engaging Author Award, and the Women’s National Book Association’s Award. Her books have been both New York Times Notable Books and New York Times bestsellers. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages.
In November, 2011, she opened Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, with her business partner Karen Hayes. She has since become a spokesperson for independent booksellers, championing books and bookstores. In 2012 she was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
The Eudora Welty Foundation was established to assist the Mississippi Department of Archives and History to achieve its goals of celebrating the legacy of Eudora Welty, enhancing appreciation of her work, and encouraging reading and the efforts of young writers. The Foundation’s broad mission is to fund educational and research activities and to develop programs that will enhance Eudora Welty’s legacy and ensure that her work continues to be recognized as among the greatest in American literature. To visitors from across America and around the world, the Welty Home provides a literary experience to enhance the understanding of Welty’s life and work. Welty’s fiction affirms that the imagination can be a powerful force to combat suffering, both physical and spiritual. Programming emphasizes Welty’s striking intellect and creative powers, her devotion to the humanities, the place of literature in our lives, and the role of the writer in our society. Learn more about the Eudora Welty Foundation.
The O.B. Hardison Poetry Series is pleased to partner with East City Bookshop, an independently run, women owned bookstore on Capitol Hill. Pickup is available at the shop, or they ship (almost) anywhere! Check their website, eastcitybookshop.com.