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Ann Patchett’s New Novel Examines The Reliability Of Childhood Memory

a headshot of Ann Patchett at her bookstore, Parnassus Books in Nashville
Heidi Ross/Harper Collins
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Everyone has particular childhood memories that stand out and shape the story of who they are. But how reliable are these memories, and when should we let them go? These are some of the questions plaguing siblings Danny and Maeve Conroy, the two central characters in author Ann Patchett’s new novel, “The Dutch House” (Harper/2019).

As kids, their father bought a mansion in the Philadelphia suburbs known as “The Dutch House.” The ornate home is their father’s prized possession and the very thing that drives away their mother. Host Anita Rao talks to Patchett about the inspiration for this novel and her creative process. Patchett is the author of seven other novels, three non-fiction books and one children’s book. She is also the co-owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville.

You're not going to divorce your sibling ... That's the bond that you can't get away from. And I think that as a novelist, I'm really interested in the inescapable. - Ann Patchett

She will be at Jubilee Community Church in Asheville on Saturday, Oct. 26th; at Meredith College in Raleigh on Sunday, Oct. 27th; and at Calvary Moravian in Winston-Salem on Monday, Oct. 28th.

Books Ann Patchett Recommends:

Amanda Magnus grew up in Maryland and went to high school in Baltimore. She became interested in radio after an elective course in the NYU journalism department. She got her start at Sirius XM Satellite Radio, but she knew public radio was for her when she interned at WNYC. She later moved to Madison, where she worked at Wisconsin Public Radio for six years. In her time there, she helped create an afternoon drive news magazine show, called Central Time. She also produced several series, including one on Native American life in Wisconsin. She spends her free time running, hiking, and roller skating. She also loves scary movies.
Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist and the host and creator of "Embodied," a live, weekly radio show and seasonal podcast about sex, relationships & health. She's also the managing editor of WUNC's on-demand content.