Unfortunately, this event has been cancelled. Ann Patchett will be unable to attend the Sydney Writers’ Festival due to travel concerns.

Master of contemporary fiction Ann Patchett is the author of globally bestselling novels Commonwealth and the Orange Prize–winning Bel Canto. She also became a sort of Joan of Arc of the publishing trade by opening a bookstore in her hometown Nashville, Tennessee. Michael Williams asks Ann about her storied life and career, why she refuses to buy a smartphone and how a conversation with Zadie Smith inspired her newest work, The Dutch House – a tale of two siblings expelled from their childhood mansion, which speaks to the lifelong bonds that magnetise and repel us all.

This event is Auslan-interpreted.

Presented by ARA. Ann Patchett is supported by David Fite.

Ann Patchett (International)

Ann Patchett

Unfortunately, Ann Patchett is unable to attend the Sydney Writers’ Festival due to travel concerns.

Ann Patchett is the author of six novels and three books of non-fiction. She has been shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction three times; with The Magician's Assistant in 1998, winning the prize with Bel Canto in 2002, and was most recently shortlisted with State of Wonder in 2012. She is also the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2012. Her work has been translated into more than 30 languages. She is the co-owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee. Her most recent novel is The Dutch House.

Michael Williams (Australian)

Michael Williams

Michael Williams was the director of the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne until March 2020. He worked at the Wheeler Centre since its inception in 2009, when he was hired as the Head of Programming before being appointed as director in September 2011. A sometime Radio National presenter, he remains a regular guest on ABC Radio and TV. Michael has also worked in publishing, as a presenter for Melbourne’s 3RRR (on Breakfasters) and as a member of the Australia Council’s Literature Board, and has written extensively for The Guardian, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian and elsewhere.