2012-13 WNBA Award


“Even though I didn’t know I was applying for the job, I have somehow become the spokesperson for independent bookselling,” said Ann Patchett, calling books “my religion.”

The author and bookseller was speaking during a reception held Sunday, June 9, 2013, at her store, Parnassus Books, Nashville, Tenn., when she received the WNBA Award, given “every two years to a living American woman who derives part or all of her income from books or the allied arts and has done meritorious work in the world of books beyond the duties or responsibilities of her profession.”

The WNBA Award has been presented continuously since 1940. Previous recipients include Eleanor Roosevelt, Pearl Buck, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Perri Klass and Kathi Kamen Goldmark.

Press Release

Nashville, TN, August 6, 2012:  The Women’s National Book Association announces that author Ann Patchett has been chosen to receive the 2012-2013 WNBA Award. The award is presented by WNBA to a living American woman who derives part or all of her income from books or the allied arts and has done meritorious work in the world of books beyond the duties or responsibilities of her profession or occupation.

Ann Patchett is an award-winning and bestselling author of several works of fiction, among them, Patron Saint of Liars, named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; Taft, winner of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for best work of fiction; Bel Canto, which won both the PEN/Faulkner and Orange Prize in 2002; The Magician’s Assistant; and her latest State of Wonder. Among her nonfiction titles are Truth and Beauty and What Now?

In addition, Ms Patchett has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s Magazine, The Atlantic, the Washington Post, Gourmet and Vogue.

In 2011, Ann Patchett opened a bookstore, Parnassus Books, in Nashville with publishing veteran Karen Hayes, bucking the trend of the rising tide of closures among independents, the growth of “big box” outlets and internet buying. She has become a powerful  advocate for independent bookselling throughout the country, having been interviewed by NPR and The New York Times, appearing on The Colbert Report; and was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” for 2012.

The WNBA Award has been presented continuously since 1940. Previous recipients have included Doris, Kearns Goodwin, Carolyn Heilbrun, Barbara Bush, Eleanor Roosevelt, Perri Klass, and Kathi Kamen Goldmark.

The Women’s National Book Association, founded in 1917, is a national organization of women and men who work with and value books and has chapters across the country. WNBA exists to promote reading and literacy and support the role of women in the book community. WNBA administers three distinguished national awards, including the Pannell Award for Children’s bookselling, the Eastman Grant, and the WNBA Award and is an officially recognized NGO of the United Nations.

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