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Harper Perennial

These Precious Days: Essays

By Ann Patchett

“To read this collection is to be invited into that sacred space where a writer steps out from behind the page to say Hello; let’s really get to know each other. Stoic, kindhearted, fierce, funny, brainy, Patchett’s essays honor what matters most 'in this precarious and precious life.'”—Oprah Daily

“Excellent. . . . Patchett’s heart, smarts and 40 years of craft create an economy that delivers her perfectly understated stories emotionally whole. Her writing style is most gloriously her own.”—New York Times

“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 with Tom Hanks’s brilliant assistant, Sooki, that explores what it means “to find someone who could see us as our best and most complete selves.”

From the enchantments of Kate DiCamillo’s children’s books to youthful memories of Paris; from the cherished life gifts given by her three fathers to the unexpected influence of Charles Schulz’s Snoopy; from 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—and demonstrate why Ann Patchett is one of the most celebrated writers of our time.

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