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Author Ann Patchett Charms Crowd at Wilton Library

WILTON, Conn. – Nationally acclaimed author Ann Patchett said she never goes back to a place where she has done an author talk, but she went back to Wilton on Thursday night. It was the largest crowd ever for Wilton Reads , said Kathy Leeds , director of the Wilton Library . "I didn’t expect to fill all those chairs," Leeds said. A total of 450 seats were set up.

Patchett went to the microphone in front of a full house at the eighth annual Wilton Reads, and the laughter and smiles never faded.

Her newest novel, “State of Wonder,” was chosen as the community book this year. But her lecture wasn’t just about the book and why she writes but also about her bookstore in Nashville and her community values.

"'State of Wonder' was the easiest, most fun book I've ever written,” Patchett said. "I write the book that I want to read."

This is the second time that Patchett has appeared at the Wilton Library, and many in the audience remembered when she spoke in 2009 about her book “Run.”

“I was in the wings, but I could still feel the audience's electricity” during the talk, Leeds said. “She’s a special person.” The way Patchett speaks makes you feel like she could be your best friend, Leeds added.

After the lecture, Patchett fielded questions, including “Would you write a sequel?” which earned an unequivocal no. Another asked her to pick one of her own books as a favorite: none of them – she said she forgets them once they’re done.

Listening to Patchett was a joy. Westport resident Karen Demeter said, “You didn’t have to read her books to get anything from the lecture,” it was so good.

Anita Hiranandani of Wilton didn't see Patchett the first time she came to the library but was happy to be there this time. “She was thrilling. She related to the audience,” Hiranandani said.

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