These Precious Days
The beloved New York Times bestselling author reflects on home, family, friendships and writing in this deeply personal collection of essays.
"Any story that starts will also end." As a writer, Ann Patchett knows what the outcome of her fiction will be. Life, however, often takes turns we do not see coming. Patchett ponders this truth in these wise essays that afford a fresh and intimate look into her mind and heart.
At the center of These Precious Days is the title essay, a surprising and moving meditation on an unexpected friendship that explores "what it means to be seen, to find someone with whom you can be your best and most complete self." When Patchett chose an early galley of actor and producer Tom Hanks' short story collection to read one night before bed, she had no idea that this single choice would be life changing. It would introduce her to a remarkable woman--Tom's brilliant assistant Sooki--with whom she would form a profound bond that held monumental consequences for them both.
A literary alchemist, Patchett plumbs the depths of her experiences to create gold: engaging and moving pieces that are both self-portrait and landscape, each vibrant with emotion and rich in insight. Turning her writer's eye on her own experiences, she transforms the private into the universal, providing us all a way to look at our own worlds anew, and reminds how fleeting and enigmatic life can be.
From the enchantments of Kate DiCamillo's children's books (author of the upcoming The Beatryce Prophecy) to youthful memories of Paris; the cherished life gifts given by her three fathers to the unexpected influence of Charles Schultz's Snoopy; the expansive vision of Eudora Welty to the importance of knitting, Patchett connects life and art as she illuminates what matters most. Infused with the author's grace, wit, and warmth, the pieces in These Precious Days resonate deep in the soul, leaving an indelible mark--and demonstrate why Ann Patchett is one of the most celebrated writers of our time.
Sophie Baker manages the translation rights for These Precious Days
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Patchett's gift is to write from intensely personal territory but to make her insights - about the importance of being generous in our relationships, or the fine balance between optimism and grief - seem universally relevant. As you read these meditative but warm-hearted essays, you begin to understand what matters most - not just to Patchett, but to you.Nilanjana Roy, Financial Times
It's radiant storytelling, both questing and vulnerable in its candour ... It confronts, too, the extent to which literature and life diverge ... Timely, timeless and as full-voiced as her smile is broad.Observer
Profound and clever and funny and wise.Meg Mason
These Precious Days ... is so full of heart that it practically throbs in your hands ... The whole volume is a delight: a celebration of friendship and generosity and the flare of those unexpected coincidences which light a life.Cressida Connolly
Spectator, 'Books of the Year'
A heartfelt and witty collection of essays on everything from marriage and knitting to the inevitability of deathGuardian
All of life - friendship, love, loss, fertility, grief, gratitude, success and failure - is contained in These Precious Days.Harper's Bazaar
Patchett's essays are both sharp and humane ... like a hugely enjoyable conversation with a particularly brilliant friend.Sadie Jones
To immerse oneself in her book is to see the world as she does, in all its wonder and beauty. Read it, cherish it, buy a copy for your best friend, then read it once more.i Paper