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NWP Visiting Writers Series: Patricia Hampl

April 29, 2018 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Prairie Lights Books

As part of the NWP Nonfiction Writers Series, Patricia Hampl will read from her new book, The Art of the Wasted Day, Sunday, April 29th, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. at Prairie Lights Books.


The Art of the Wasted Day is a picaresque travelogue of leisure written from a lifelong enchantment with solitude. Patricia Hampl visits the homes of historic exemplars of ease who made repose an art form. She begins with two celebrated eighteenth-century Irish ladies who ran off to live a life of "retirement" in rural Wales. Her search then leads to Moravia to consider the monk-geneticist, Gregor Mendel, and finally to Bordeaux for Michel Montaigne—the hero of this book—who retreated from court life to sit in his chateau tower and write about whatever passed through his mind. The book is, according to Phillip Lopate, a “love story, a meditation on death, travel, Americanness, Catholicism, integrity and Montaigne.”


Patricia Hampl is the author of prose works including A Romantic Education and, most recently, The Florist's Daughter. Her work has appeared in The New YorkerThe Paris ReviewThe New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Best American Essays. The recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEA and the MacArthur Foundation, she lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.