Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

"I Wish Al Gore Would Run for President Again": Ann Patchett, Author

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

"I Wish Al Gore Would Run for President Again": Ann Patchett, Author

Article excerpt

Ann Patchett was born in Los Angeles in 1963. In 2002 she was awarded both the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize for her fourth novel, "Bel Canto". She is also the co-founder of Parnassus Books, a shop in Nashville, Tennessee.

What's your earliest memory?

Being in a crib and looking up at a mobile. I'm serious. I have a lot of memories of that crib.

Who are your heroes?

Fern in Charlotte's Web was my childhood hero. She saved the runt piglet and convinced her parents to let her keep it. She had the power to convince adults, to make them listen to her. I think that's what every child dreams of. As an adult, I would say Bill and Melinda Gates. I admire people who work to make better lives for others.

What was the last book that changed your thinking?

I was dazzled by Flash Count Diary: Menopause and the Vindication of Natural Life by Darcey Steinke. It is fierce and smart and full of rage. She looks at women, along with female whales, elephants and gorillas, to see what happens to us as we age.

Which political figure do you look up to?

I'm a big fan of Al Gore. He's devoted his life to trying to save the planet and I can't think of anything we need more. I wish Al would run for president again, though I can see how he can probably do more good without a political office.

What would be your Mastermind specialist subject?

I am completely devoid of specialist knowledge.

In which time and place, other than your own, would you like to live?

I'd be happy to go back to the Obama administration. …

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