Rediscover: Bel Canto

The film adaptation of Ann Patchett's Bel Canto opens September 14. Paul Weitz (who co-wrote the screenplay) directs a cast that includes Julianne Moore, Ken Watanabe, Sebastian Koch and Christopher Lambert. Moore stars as Roxane Coss, a famous American opera star invited to  perform at the vice-presidential mansion in an unnamed South American country, at a party in honor of Japanese businessman Katsumi Hosokawa (Watanabe). Terrorists crash the party and take everyone hostage. Over the next month, an international group of guests must learn to cope with confinement, each other, and the people keeping them captive, all while trying to avoid what seems to be an inevitable tragedy.

Bel Canto, originally published in 2001, won the Orange Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. In addition to the upcoming film, it has also been adapted into an opera. Ann Patchett's other novels include The Patron Saint of Liars (1992), Taft (1994), The Magician's Assistant (1997), Run (2007), State of Wonder (2011) and Commonwealth (2016). She is also the co-founder of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tenn. On September 4, Harper Perennial published a movie tie-in edition of Bel Canto ($16.99, 9780062891907). --Tobias Mutter

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