University of Rochester

Novelist Ann Patchett to Receive Prestigious Kafka Prize

January 9, 1996

Author Ann Patchett has been selected as the 1995 recipient of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Fiction by an American Woman for her novel Taft.

The award is given yearly by the University of Rochester English department and Susan B. Anthony Institute for Women's Studies, in conjunction with Writers & Books.

Patchett will receive her award at a ceremony at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 9, 1996, in the Writers & Books Auditorium at 740 University Ave. She will be reading from Taft and will be available to sign books after the ceremony.

Cost of admission is $4 for Writers & Books members and University students, faculty, and staff, and $5 for the public. Seating is limited, and tickets are available at the door.

Taft, Patchett's second novel, is a story about a man's need to be reunited with his son. John Nickel, a musician turned bar owner whose son lives with his mother, turns to a young waitress and her brother as an answer to his need to protect others. Through these relationships Nickel analyzes his life and defines his priorities.

Patchett has been awarded the Trans-Atlantic Henfield Foundation Review Award for Fiction and the Editor's Choice Award for Fiction from Columbia magazine. Her short fiction is included in anthologies, 20 Under 30 and The Best of the Henfield Prize Winners. She also was in residence at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Yaddo, and Millay Colony for the Arts.

Patchett is a fellow at the Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College. She received her bachelor's degree from Sarah Lawrence College in 1984 and her master's degree from the Writer's Workshop at the University of Iowa in 1987.

The author's first novel, The Patron Saint of Liars, was the only first novel chosen in 1992 by the American Library Association's Notable Books Council as one of the year's best works of fiction.

The Kafka prize, established in 1976 in memory of editor Janet Heidinger Kafka, is accompanied by a $1,000 stipend.