Talking Volumes: Ann Patchett on 'Tom Lake'

Two women sit on stage.
Prolific author Ann Patchett joined host Kerri Miller on stage for Talking Volumes Sept. 28. It was a rollicking evening full of laughter and shenanigans as they talked about her new novel, "Tom Lake."
Tom Campbell | MPR

Ann Patchett is a perennial favorite at Talking Volumes. So it’s no surprise that she sold out the Fitz for her conversation with host Kerri Miller on Sept. 28.

What ensued was a raucous two hours of honest conversation. Just a few of the topics they covered: Ann’s “shiny new attitude” about book tours, how to be a feminist while still making dinner every night, why Ann keeps a drawer stocked with $20s in her desk and — last but certainly not least — Ann’s new novel, “Tom Lake.”

Don’t miss this lively exchange, which includes music by singer-songwriter Sarah Morris and closes with a special guest appearance by the author to whom Ann dedicated “Tom Lake” — Minnesotan Kate DiCamillo.


  • Ann Patchett is the author of many beloved books, including “Commonwealth,” “The Dutch House,” “Bel Canto” and “Truth and Beauty.” Her latest novel is “Tom Lake.” She also owns Parnassus Books, an independent bookstore in Nashville, and she adores her husband, Karl — even if he doesn’t make dinner.

  • Kate DiCamillo is also an author of many beloved books, including “Because of Winn-Dixie,” “Flora and Ulysses,” “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” and the forthcoming, “The Puppets of Spelhorst.” She is a staunch friend of Ann Patchett, which is why “Tom Lake” is dedicated to her and how she ended up on stage with Ann at Talking Volumes.

Use the audio player or video player above to listen to the conversation.

Don’t miss a conversation! Subscribe to the MPR News with Kerri Miller podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts or RSS.

Love books? Subscribe to the Thread newsletter for the latest book and author news and must-read recommendations.

Create a More Connected Minnesota

MPR News is your trusted resource for the news you need. With your support, MPR News brings accessible, courageous journalism and authentic conversation to everyone - free of paywalls and barriers. Your gift makes a difference.