24 July, 2021

Ann Patchett

Award-winning novelist Ann Patchett, on her new novel State of Wonder

Ann Patchett

Your book has won positive reviews in India. How was the overall feedback?

The response was good on my book tours, though many reviews are yet to reach me.

There’s an India connection in the book. You have an Indian protagonist, Marina Singh.

Yes, it was important that the character had made long trips as a child, so it made me think having an Indian father would work well.

Have you been to India?

No, but I want to go. I hear there is interest about my book, so perhaps I will get invited!

The novel is being compared to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.

Traces of it are there, especially in the journey, but so are probably other influences, like Waugh’s A Handful of Dust, and James’s novels.

What led you to explore this plot?

I wanted two strong female lead characters, who were not falling in love, or being victimised, but breaking new ground.

Your novel follows a...

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