Best-selling writer Ann Patchett will visit Maine on June 10 for a conversation with her friend and novelist Richard Russo.

The event at the University of Southern Maine in Portland serves as a fundraiser for Wayfinder Schools, where at-risk students can finish high school. Wayfinder has campuses in New Gloucester and Camden and a home-based program for pregnant teens.

Russo, who lives in Camden, is a longtime supporter and has hosted events with writer friends to raise money for the school.

He will lead Patchett in a wide-ranging conversation about writing, life and friendship, said Wayfinder board member Karen Watterson.

“It’s not a reading. They know each other, and both are lively personalities,” Watterson said. “I can’t even begin to guess what they will talk about, but probably a little bit of everything. Rick is really good about leading other authors into discussions and getting them going.”

He hosted a similar conversation last year with Maine writers Monica Wood and Bill Roorbach.

Patchett lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she owns and operates an independent bookstore.

She has written six novels, including the 2002 best-seller “Bel Canto,” as well as “The Patron Saint of Liars,” “Taft,” “The Magician’s Assistant,” “Run” and “State of Wonder.”

She has also written three books of nonfiction, including “Truth & Beauty” about her friendship with the late writer Lucy Grealy, and her latest, “This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage,” a collection of essays about commitment.

She has won many awards, including England’s Orange Prize, PEN/Faulkner Award, the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Book Sense Book of the Year, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the American Bookseller’s Association’s Most Engaging Author Award.

Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2012.

She has been to Maine before, but never in an official capacity, Watterson said.

About 500 tickets will be available for the Wayfinder event. 

Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or at:

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Twitter: pphbkeyes