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Bel Canto

by Ann Patchett

Latin terrorists storm an international gathering hosted by an underprivileged country to promote foreign interest and trade, only to find that their intended target, the President, has stayed home to watch his favourite soap opera on TV. Among the hostages are a world-class opera singer and her biggest fan, a Japanese tycoon who has been persuaded to attend the party on the understanding that she will perform half a dozen arias after dinner. The tycoon’s engaging and sympathetic translator plays a vital role in the subsequent relationships between so many different nationalities closeted together, interpreting not only the terrorists’ terms but also the language of love between lovers who cannot understand what each other is saying. Ultimately, it is the terrorist strike that does more to promote foreign relations than anyone could have hoped to achieve with the party.

Winner of the 2002 Orange Prize for Fiction.



About Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett is the author of six novels and three works of nonfiction. She is the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, England's Orange Prize for Bel Canto, and the Book Sense Book of the Year, and was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She is the co-owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband, Karl, and their dog, Sparky.

Other books by Ann Patchett



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