Free copies of Ann Patchett’s latest novel, State of Wonder, will be given away at the Mount Vernon Farmers’ Market in downtown Mount Vernon on Sept. 20 from 9 to 11 a.m. The book also will be distributed at the College Bookstore and at Paragraphs Bookstore in Mount Vernon and at noon in the Cheever Room at Finn House.
The book is being given away as the launch to Knox Reads!, a community reading event celebrating the work of one author each fall. The Kenyon Review and state and local community and cultural organizations sponsor the event. The giveaway also sets the stage for the 2014 Kenyon Review Literary Festival on Oct. 23-25 at Kenyon.
Patchett is the winner of the 2014 Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement. She is known for her empathy of the human condition in her six fiction novels and three nonfiction works. She will be on campus to deliver the literary festival’s keynote address on Oct. 25 and will then be honored in New York City on Nov. 6.
Tory Weber, associate director of programs and administrator of Kenyon Review fellowships, said they expect to hand out about 200 books throughout the day. “Some people mark their calendars for this annual event and know to show up early, as the books can disappear fast,” she said. “But for me it's even more exciting when we hand a book to someone who has never heard of Knox Reads!, the Literary Festival, or our featured author, and then see that same person at other Knox Reads! and Lit Fest events. That happens every year, and it's really what Knox Reads! is all about — bringing great literature to the broader community and making it accessible to everyone.”