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Publisher's Summary

Based on her lauded commencement address at Sarah Lawrence College, this stirring essay by best-selling author Ann Patchett offers hope and inspiration for anyone at a crossroads, whether graduating, changing careers, or transitioning from one life stage to another. With wit and candor, Patchett tells her own story of attending college, graduating, and struggling with the inevitable question, "What now?"From student to line cook to teacher to waitress and eventually to award-winning author, Patchett's own life has taken many twists and turns that make her exploration genuine and resonant. As Patchett says, "'What now?' represents our excitement and our future, the very vitality of life." She highlights the possibilities the unknown offers and reminds us that there is as much joy in the journey as there is in reaching the destination.
©2008 Ann Patchett; (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Annie M. on 06-17-08

A commencement message for life

If you are a fan of Ann Patchett's beautiful language and subtle humor, you will find this an interesting and entertaining windown into how she writes--and she became a writer. I loved learning, for example, that the stately home in which "Bel Canto" takes place was modeled on the home of the dean at her college.

I downloaded this in hopes of finding a few "life lesson" gems for our son, who is on his way to his first year at Willamette University. My husband and I both listened to it first, and found it to go several steps beyond the usual commencement day admonitions to "aim high" and "work hard" and "follow your passions."

This is a highly pleasant way to spend 50 minutes.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful


By Lisa on 02-20-12

Quick! Read it! Give it to others!

If you could sum up What Now? in three words, what would they be?

Ann Patchett narrates.

What did you like best about this story?

There's something so special about listening to the author narrate his or her own story. And here's the best part - this is more than a story. It's a bit of advice, a personal tale of bump and rise, and even though it's set up as a graduation speech, it's inspirational for everyone.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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