‘In a world that is going to hell, there is still so much joy’: Ann Patchett on finding happiness

Lisa Allardice in The Guardian:

To say that Patchett is evangelical about books is no mere cliche. In one of her essays, she compares her zeal to that of a Hare Krishna devotee she met many years ago who spent every day proclaiming his love of God to strangers in Chicago airport. “I would stand in an airport to tell people how much I love books, reading them, writing them, making sure other people felt comfortable reading and writing them.”

As a book nerd, who was “raised by nuns” and believes most people are essentially fairly decent, Patchett is neither cool nor edgy. But she gets to hang out with Hollywood royalty, and is friends with pretty much every living American writer you care to mention (Barbara Kingsolver, Elizabeth Gilbert, Lorrie Moore, who lives in the next block when she is in Nashville). She even knows President Biden “a little bit”. “I deeply love the president. He’s spent his life as a public servant. He works tirelessly on behalf of the people,” she says. “And his wife is a fantastic reader.”

More here.