DUE TO INCREASED RESERVATION COSTS AT THIRTY-THIRTY, WE WILL BE CHANGING VENUES. We can discuss a permanent venue at Leaves and Beans.
"Bel Canto" by Ann Patchett won both the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in 2002, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. It sold more than a million copies in the United States and has been translated into thirty languages. The setting is based in a South American country, as a world-renowned soprano sings at a birthday party in honor of a visiting Japanese industrial titan. His hosts hope that Mr. Hosokawa can be persuaded to build a factory in their Third World backwater. A band of 18 terrorists enters the vice-presidential mansion through the air conditioning ducts hoping to kidnap the president and takes hostages. Among them are not only Hosokawa and the American soprano, but an assortment of Russian, Italian, and French diplomats, the Vice President and a Swiss Red Cross negotiator.Joined by no common language except music, the 58 international hostages and their captors forge unexpected bonds. With the omniscience of magic realism, Ann Patchett flits in and out of the hearts and psyches of hostage and terrorist alike, and in doing so reveals a profound, shared humanity. Her voice is suitably lyrical, melodic, full of warmth and compassion. In the Washington Post Book World, author Robb Forman Dew wrote, "Bel Canto is its own universe. It is a marvel of a book. It delineates the way we manage to sustain hope and all the things we must forget in order to experience joy and reasonably pursue the very human desire to be happy."