By Ann Patchett • Narrated by Tom Hanks
We talked to Ann about her inspiration for The Dutch House, the “genius audiobook,” and her own audiobook favorites.
Please tell us a little bit about what inspired you to write this book and how this story took shape for you.
In the wake of the 2016 elections and what felt like a massive celebration of wealth, I wanted to write a book about a person who didn’t want to be rich. There’s a character in this book who turns away from wealth. That’s how it started (and not how it wound up).
In two sentences or less, what’s something that might surprise Libro.fm listeners about your audiobook?
Tom Hanks recorded it. If that doesn’t surprise people, nothing will. I’m still walking around in a state of complete shock.
Have you listened to your own audiobook? If so, what struck you about the narration?
The Dutch House is the first audio book of mine I’ve ever listened to because it was Tom Hanks. I was just amazed by how much he brought to every sentence. It’s a good novel, but it’s a genius audio book.
Are you an audiobook listener? If so, what are some of your favorite audiobooks?
My three all time favorites are Lolita, read by Jeremy Irons, Kitchen Confidential, read by Anthony Bourdain, and Love, Nina, read by Nina Stibbe. I recently listened to Say Nothing, read by Matthew Blaney and I.M., read by Isaac Mizrahi. Loved them.
What have independent bookstores and/or booksellers meant to you personally and professionally?
I am the co-owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee. I’m also the ambassador for the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (BINC). I am in very deep with the independents.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
I love Libro.FM. I’m promoting you guys on my book tour. Long Live Libro.FM!