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Authors Patchett, Kingsolver to discuss importance of literary friendships

Staff Report • May 5, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Patchett, Kingsolver to discuss importance of literary friendships

Writers Ann Patchett and Barbara Kingsolver will engage in a dialogue about “literary friendships,” discussing the important influences and camaraderie of other writers, during an appearance together May 19 at the Martha Washington Hotel and Spa in Abingdon, Va.

Presented by the Friends of the Washington County Public Library, the event is a fundraiser for the library and will feature a social gathering from 6 to 7:30 p.m., during which participants can enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and the opportunity to buy books by Patchett and Kingsolver.

Both writers have spoken eloquently about their literary and personal friendships.

“The best part of myself is what I put into my friendships,” Kingsolver said. “Slowly, life is teaching me that friendship is an acquired skill, and that courage is often required. Better to be the friend who holds your hand and says the wrong thing than to be the one who stays away.”

Patchett, who lives in Nashville, is the author of six novels, including “Bel Canto” and “State of Wonder,” both of which were international best sellers, as well as two works of non-fiction, including “Truth & Beauty,” an account of her friendship with a college friend, Lucy Grealy.

Kingsolver, one of Virginia’s most acclaimed writers and a Washington County, Va., resident, is the author of 14 books, including the novels “The Poisonwood Bible,” “The Lacuna” and the recent “Flight Behavior”; several collections of essays and volumes of poetry; and works of non-fiction, including “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.”

Both writers share the distinction of winning the Orange Prize, the British literary prize awarded annually to the woman who, in the opinion of the judges, has written the best full-length novel in English that year. Patchett won the award for “Bel Canto” in 2002 and Kingsolver for “The Lacuna” in 2010.

After the dialogue between the authors, there will be a question and answer session, followed by book signings by the two writers. Guests are requested not to ask each writer to sign more than three books.

Tickets to the event are $50 and can be purchased at the Washington County Main Library, 205 Oak Hill St., Abingdon, Va., or at its branches in Damascus, Glade Spring, Hayters Gap or Mendota. People from out of town who wish to purchase tickets may send a check (made out to the “Friends of the Washington County Public Library”) to Penny Cook, Washington County Public Library, 205 Oak Hill St., Abingdon, Va. 24210.

For more information about the library, visit www.wcpl.net or call (276) 676-6222.

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