Event benefits Wayfinder

Russos bring Patchett to Maine

May 27, 2014
Ann Patchett

Portland — Thanks to the efforts of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo and his wife Barbara, formerly of Camden, best-selling author Ann Patchett is set for her first public appearance in Maine.

Richard Russo and Patchett will hold court with a lively literary conversation before a live audience Tuesday, June 10, at 7 p.m. at Hannaford Hall in the University of Southern Maine’s Abromson Center on Bedford Street. The evening will serve as a benefit for the Wayfinder Schools, the nation's oldest alternative high school. Camden’s former Community School is now Wayfinder.

The 7 p.m. event is open to the public, with a ticket price of $35. A VIP reception will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m., offering the opportunity to meet and talk with the authors. The VIP ticket price is $75 and includes drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Tickets can be purchased through the Wayfinder Schools website, wayfinderschools.org. Discounted school group ticket sales are available by calling 926-4532. Books by Patchett and Russo will be available for purchase.

Patchett is the author of six best-selling novels including “The Patron Saint of Liars,” “Bel Canto” and “State of Wonder.” She was the editor of “Best American Short Stories” (2006) and has written three books of nonfiction including “Truth & Beauty,” about her friendship with writer Lucy Grealy.

Patchett has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, and her work has been included in both the New York Times Notable Books and New York Times bestsellers lists. In 2011, she opened a bookstore in Nashville, Tenn., called Parnassus and since has become a spokesperson for independent booksellers, appearing on NPR, "The Colbert Report" and the "Martha Stewart Show."

Russo is the author of 10 books including the 2002 Pulitzer Prize winning “Empire Falls.” Russo also wrote the teleplay for the HBO adaption of “Empire Falls,” starring Ed Harris and Philip Seymour Hoffman. He has co-written and adapted several screenplays including “Ice Harvest” and “Keeping Mum.” Russo's novel “Nobody's Fool” was made into a movie of the same name starring Paul Newman. Russo taught at Colby College for a number of years; he and his wife now reside in Portland.

All proceeds from this special event benefit Wayfinder Schools, the nation's oldest alternative high school. Wayfinder Schools offers at-risk Maine youth and teen parents a second chance to earn a state of Maine high school diploma. Wayfinder Schools offers an alternative learning environment that includes academic studies, life skills, community service and part-time employment. This curriculum enables students to discover their strengths, practice personal responsibility and contribute to their communities. Upon graduation, Wayfinder students are ready to make a successful journey to adulthood.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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