What Now? Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 156 ratings
Flip to back Flip to front
Audible Sample Playing... Paused   You are listening to a sample of the Audible narration for this Kindle book.
Learn more
ISBN-13: 978-0061340659
ISBN-10: 0061340650
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Kindle app logo image

Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more

Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.

Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.

QR code to download the Kindle App

Share <Embed>
Loading your book clubs
There was a problem loading your book clubs. Please try again.
Not in a club? Learn more
Amazon book clubs early access

Join or create book clubs

Choose books together

Track your books
Bring your club to Amazon Book Clubs, start a new book club and invite your friends to join, or find a club that’s right for you for free.
Buy
$13.99
Price set by seller.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Buy for others

Give as a gift or purchase for a team or group.
Learn more

Buying and sending eBooks to others

Select quantity
Buy and send eBooks
Recipients can read on any device

Additional gift options are available when buying one eBook at a time.  Learn more

These ebooks can only be redeemed by recipients in the US. Redemption links and eBooks cannot be resold.

Quantity: 
This item has a maximum order quantity limit.

The Father's Day Books Gift Guide
Create your FREE Amazon Business account to save up to 10% with Business-only prices and free shipping. Register today

Editorial Reviews

Review

“[T]he best graduation present on the market... A wise, generous and compact primer for life that could well become a touchstone, readers will return to this book, and probably find something new each time they do; deserves to be given often and enthusiastically.”

Amazon.com Review

Based on her lauded commencement address at Sarah Lawrence College, this stirring essay by bestselling 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 writes, "'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.

As Luck Would Have It: An Essay by Ann Patchett

Writing a book isn’t the kind of thing I do without knowing it. I’ve written five novels and a memoir. I’m working on another novel now. I’m closely acquainted with a process which consists of the search for a good idea followed by a lot of hard work. But the creation of What now? was more akin to finding a baby under a cabbage leaf than it was an act of labor and delivery. If someone hadn’t pointed it out to me, I feel certain I would have walked right by it.

What now? started out as the commencement address I gave at Sarah Lawrence College (my alma mater) in May of 2006. I make a lot of speeches and for the most part I talk off the cuff, a knack I picked up in high school as a forensics and debate champ. The only speeches I write in advance are the ones given for convocations and graduations because I’ve found that people like to keep a copy as part of the memorabilia of the day. I had originally composed a very dull and ponderous talk for the occasion because I wanted to sound smart (I was going back to college, after all) but as luck would have it, I ran into my friend and former writing teacher Allan Gurganus just before the big day. When I showed him the speech I planned to give, he sent me back to my desk to start over again.

Every sentence regarding this book could begin with the phrase, As luck would have it... If I hadn’t shown my speech to Allan, who hadn’t looked over my homework in more than twenty years, I would have been just another boring graduation speaker. But Allan set me on a new course, telling me to talk about myself, my work, and my own struggles, the exact topics I had wanted to avoid. I hope that I will never be too grown up or successful to disregard good advice when I hear it, and this was good advice. I went back to work. The new speech, delivered in a giant tent during a crashing thunderstorm, seemed to hit all the right notes. The graduates broke into cheering bedlam, my back was slapped many times, and I marked the day down as a good one. End of story.

Except, as luck would have it, copies of the speech started making the rounds, and it wound up in the hands of an editor who thought it would make a fine little book in the tradition of Anna Quindlen’s triumph, A Short Guide to a Happy Life. Once again, not my idea, but one worth listening to. The new format gave me the extra room that graduation speeches don’t allow (nobody likes a long-winded speaker) and Chip Kidd’s brilliant design gave additional resonance to my words. I looked at the end result with no small amount of wonder.

When the first copy came in the mail, I gave it to my 86 year old mother-in-law who was visiting from Mississippi. After she read it, she said she wanted copies for all of her friends. "We’re going through a real period of What now? ourselves," she told me. "At our age we’re all wondering what’s going to happen next. The question is always there. It’s just that sometimes you hear it a little louder."

"Wow," I said. "That’s really good. I wish we could have used that on the jacket."

It is my sincere hope that my mother-in-law is right, and this book will serve a purpose not just for graduation, but for life. Given its history, it seems that anything is possible.

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0015DPX6C
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperCollins e-books (October 13, 2009)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ October 13, 2009
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 4627 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 56 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 156 ratings

About the authors

Follow authors to get new release updates, plus improved recommendations.

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
156 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on May 8, 2022
One person found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on March 25, 2015
13 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on June 7, 2020
Reviewed in the United States on December 14, 2013
6 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States on February 23, 2015
Reviewed in the United States on May 29, 2008
Reviewed in the United States on June 11, 2013
3 people found this helpful
Report abuse

Top reviews from other countries

Alex
2.0 out of 5 stars Quite bland.
Reviewed in Spain on December 27, 2015
Report an issue

Does this item contain inappropriate content?
Do you believe that this item violates a copyright?
Does this item contain quality or formatting issues?