Taft

Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett’s second novel to be published in the UK, following the Orange Prize-shortlisted ‘The Magician’s Assistant’.

John Nickel is a black ex-jazz musician who only wants to be a good father. When his son is taken away to Miami by his mother, Nickel is left with nothing but Muddy’s, the Memphis blues bar that he manages. Then he hires Fay Taft, a young white waitress from east Tennessee who has a volatile brother, Carl, in tow. They spell nothing but trouble for Nickel. Fay stirs up both romantic and paternal impulses in him and Carl is clearly a no-good.

But Nickel finds himself consumed with the idea of Taft, Fay and Carl’s dead father, and begins to reconstruct the life of a man he never met but whose place he has taken.

Reviews of Taft

    • ‘As resonant as a blues song…expect miracles when you read Patchett’s fiction’ New York Times
    • ‘Patchett is excellent at portraying the steady love and interest that holds the family members together, even though that love and interest isn’t always successful at preserving them from danger’ Jane Smiley
    • ‘The emotional ties are so taut that the merest touch from Patchett sets everything jangling. A marvellously understated book’ Guardian
    • ‘Taft shows the author’s skill at putting herself – and her readers – in another skin…Her skill is simply extraordinary’ Erica Wagner, The Times