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Digging to America
Anne Tyler
0307263940
May 2, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Tyler (Breathing Lessons) encompasses the collision of cultures without losing her sharp focus on the daily dramas of modern family life in her 17th novel. When Bitsy and Brad Donaldson and Sami and Ziba Yazdan both adopt Korean infant girls, their chance encounter at the Baltimore airport the day their daughters arrive marks the start of a long, intense if sometimes awkward friendship. Sami's mother, Maryam Yazdan, who carefully preserves her exotic "outsiderness" despite having emigrated from Iran almost 40 years earlier, is frequently perplexed by her son and daughter-in-law's ongoing relationship with the loud, opinionated, unapologetically American Donaldsons. When Bitsy's recently widowed father, Dave, endearingly falls in love with Maryam, she must come to terms with what it means to be part of a culture...


The Amateur Marriage
Anne Tyler
0345470613
October 2004
Paperback
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Book Review
Anne Tyler's The Amateur Marriage is not so much a novel as a really long argument. Michael is a good boy from a Polish neighborhood in Baltimore; Pauline is a harum-scarum, bright-cheeked girl who blows into Michael's family's grocery store at the outset of World War II. She appears with a bloodied brow, supported by a gaggle of girlfriends. Michael patches her up, and neither of them are ever the same. Well, not the same as they were before, but pretty much the same as everyone else. After the war, they live over the shop with Michael's mother till they've saved enough to move to the suburbs. There they remain with their three children, until the onset of the sixties, when their eldest daughter runs away to San Francisco. Their marriage survives for a while, finally crumbling in the seventies. If this all sounds a tad...


Girls of Tender Age
Mary-Ann Tirone Smith
0743279778
December 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
The recovery of repressed memories of the 1953 murder by a serial killer of an 11-year-old friend and neighbor in a blue-collar enclave in Hartford, Conn., triggered Smith's absorbing memoir. In recalling her childhood, she is compelled to describe her upbringing in a fractured family whose existence centered on placating her older brother, Tyler, an autistic boy who couldn't bear sounds of any kind (crying, laughing, sneezing, dog barking). The narrative is further enriched by the author's investigations into the life and crimes of the psychopath who preyed on her friend and other little girls, and by her insights about the unequal rights of girls and women before feminism. The making of a writer is the subtext here; forbidden by her strict Catholic upbringing to question her parents, Smith was forced to develop...


A Slipping-Down Life
Anne Tyler
0345478959
May 2004
Paperback
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Review
“TO READ A NOVEL BY ANNE TYLER IS TO FALL IN LOVE.”
People

“Anne Tyler is a wise and perceptive writer with a warm understanding of human foible.”
—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“All of Tyler’s novels are wonderful.”
—Newsweek

“One of the most beguiling and mesmerizing writers in America.”
—The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Not merely good . . . She is wickedly good!”
—John Updike

“A novelist who knows what a proper story is . . . A very funny writer. . . Not only a good and artful writer, but a wise one as well.”
—Newsweek

“Tyler’s characters have character: quirks, odd angles of vision, colorful mean streaks and harmonic...


Saint Maybe
Anne Tyler
0804108749
October 1992
Mass Market Paperback
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Book Review
Tyler makes things look so easy that she never gets enough credit, yet she portrays everyday Americans with such humor, grace and, ultimately, emotional force that her books are always deeply satisfying. In Saint Maybe her protagonist Ian Bedloe, stricken with guilt over the death of his older brother, raises three children unrelated to him by blood. He is strengthened in this Herculean task by the storefront Church of the Second Chance, to which he devotes himself with equal fervor. Someone once said all great writers are comic writers. Among living Americans, Tyler is exhibit A. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly
Although Tyler ( Breathing Lessons ; Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant ) is again writing about families--the way they cleave...


Ladder of Years
Anne Tyler
0804113475
May 1997
Mass Market Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
At 40, Delia Grinstead seems more likely to have an attack of anxiety, or of whimsy, than to become a runaway wife. Yet, in Tyler's 13th beguiling novel, Delia's impulse to escape her disapproving physician husband and three surly children turns into an adventure that sweeps her from her staid Baltimore orbit into a new existence as Ms. Grinstead, spinster, in the Delaware community of Bay Borough. It's the unexamined life that's Delia's problem, and when she finally strips away layers of hurt, resentment, guilt and anger, she confronts her inner self and begins to deal with the chronic insecurity that has kept her childlike, flighty and dependent. Gradually, she becomes part of her new community, and has the courage to take a job caring for Noah Miller, an appealing 12-year-old whose mother has also run away...


Back When We Were Grownups
Anne Tyler
0345477243
October 2004
Mass Market Paperback
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Book Review's Best of 2001
The first sentence of Anne Tyler's 15th novel sounds like something out of a fairy tale: "Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person." Alas, this discovery has less to do with magic than with a late-middle-age crisis, which is visited upon Rebecca Davitch in the opening pages of Back When We Were Grownups. At 53, this perpetually agreeable widow is "wide and soft and dimpled, with two short wings of dry, fair hair flaring almost horizontally from a center part." Given her role as the matriarch of a large family--and the proprietress of a party-and-catering concern, the Open Arms--Rebecca is both personally and professionally inclined toward jollity. But at an engagement bash for one of her multiple stepdaughters, she finds herself questioning everything about her...


A Patchwork Planet
Anne Tyler
0449003981
Feb 1999
Paperback
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Book Review
Barnaby Gaitlin is one of Anne Tyler's most promising unpromising characters. At 30, he has yet to graduate from college, is already divorced, and is used to defeat. His mother thrives on reminding him of his adolescent delinquency and debt to his family, and even his daughter is fed up with his fecklessness. Still, attuned as he is to "the normal quota for misfortune," Barney is one of the star employees of Baltimore's Rent-a-Back, Inc., which pays him an hourly wage to help old people (and one young agoraphobe) run errands and sort out their basements and attics. Anne Tyler makes you admire most of these mothball eccentrics (though they're far from idealized) and hope that they can stave off nursing homes and death. There is, for example, "the unstoppable little black grandma whose children ...


Best of the South: From the Second Decade of New Stories from the South
Anne Tyler
1565124707
November 2005
Paperback
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Book Description
Since 1986, New Stories from the South has brought the best short fiction of the year to the attention of a national audience. The series has been called “the collection others should use as a model” (the Charlotte Observer), and for twenty years it has held to that standard.

When Anne Tyler helped us celebrate the first ten years of the series in Best of the South, 1986–1995, the reviews were ecstatic. “A triumph of authentic voices and unforgettable characters,” said Southern Living. “An introduction to some of the best writers in the world today,” raved the Northwest Arkansas Times. Now that the anthology has reached its twentieth birthday, Anne Tyler has done it again. From the 186 stories found in the ten volumes from 1996 to 2005, she has picked her favorites...


Pact: A Love Story
Jodi Picoult
006085880X
February 2006
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Teenage suicide is the provocative topic that Picoult plumbs, with mixed results, in her fifth novel. Popular high-school swimming star Chris Harte and talented artist Em Gold bonded as infants; their parents have been next-door neighbors and best friends for 18 years. When they fall in love, everyone is ecstatic. Everyone, it turns out, except for Em, who finds that sex with Chris feels almost incestuous. Her emotional turmoil, compounded by pregnancy, which she keeps secret, leads to depression, despair and a desire for suicide, and she insists that Chris prove his love by pulling the trigger. The gun is fired in the first paragraph, and so the book opens with a jolt of adrenaline. But Picoult stumbles in delineating both sets of parents' responses to the tragedy. Unconvincing behavior and dialogue...


The Tin Can Tree
Anne Tyler
0449911896
Aug 1996
Paperback
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Book Description
In the small town of Larksville, the Pike family is hopelessly out of step with the daily rhythms of life after the tragic, accidental death of six-year-old Janie Rose. Mrs. Pike seldom speaks, blaming herself, while Mr. Pike is forced to come out of his long, comfortable silence. Then there is ten-year-old Simon, who is suddenly without a baby sister -- and without understanding why she's gone.

Those closest to this shattered family must learn to comfort them -- and confront their own private shadows of hidden grief. If time cannot draw them out of the dark, then love may be their only hope....

Inside Flap Copy
In the small town of Larksville, the Pike family is hopelessly out of step with the daily rhythms of life after the tragic, accidental death of six-year-old...


Accidental Tourist
Anne Tyler
0345452003
April 2002
Paperback
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From Library Journal
Scarred by grief after their 12-year-old son's senseless murder (he was shot by a holdup man in a Burger Bonanza), Macon and Sarah Leary are losing their marriage too. Macon is unable to cope when she leaves him, so he settles down ``safe among the people he'd started out with,'' moving back home with two divorced brothers and spinster sister Rose. Author of a series of guidebooks called ``Accidental Tourist'' for businessmen who hate to travel, Macon is Tyler's focus here, as she gently chronicles his journey from lonely self-absorption to an ``accidental'' new life with brassy Muriel, a dog trainer from the Meow Bow Animal Hospital, who renews and claims his heart. Not a character, including Macon's dog Edward, is untouched by delightful eccentricity in this charming story, full of surprises and wisdom. All of...


If Morning Ever Comes
Anne Tyler
0449911780
Aug 1996
Paperback
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Book Description
"A triumph."

HARPERS

Ben Joe Hawkes is a worrier. Raised by his mother, grandmother, and a flock of busy sisters, he's always felt the outsider. When he learns that one of his sisters has left her husband, he heads for home and back into the confusion of childhood memories and unforseen love....


From the Paperback edition.

Inside Flap Copy
"A triumph."

HARPERS

Ben Joe Hawkes is a worrier. Raised by his mother, grandmother, and a flock of busy sisters, he's always felt the outsider. When he learns that one of his sisters has left her husband, he heads for home and back into the confusion of childhood memories and unforseen love....


From the Paperback edition.


Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant
Anne Tyler
0449911594
August 1996
Paperback
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From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Caren Town
Anne Tyler is known for her ability to explore and make real the ways in which "unexceptional" people create families out of what might be seen as a hopeless muddle of failed or failing relationships. The Tull family - frazzled and sometimes abusive mother Pearl, missing father Beck, jealous and manipulative son Cody, troubled but finally contented daughter Jenny, and loving, placid baby Ezra - resembles families most of us know. We first witness Pearl's memories as she wanders back through her life while lying on her deathbed; next, Cody takes over, and by the end of the book we have experienced each family member's perspective. Out of their often differing stories a picture emerges of Pearl: of how her travelling salesman husband left her with three children to care for, how she...


Breathing Lessons
Anne Tyler
0345485572
Nov 2005
Paperback
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Book Review
Maggie Moran's mission is to connect and unite people, whether they want to be united or not. Maggie is a meddler and as she and her husband, Ira, drive 90 miles to the funeral of an old friend, Ira contemplates his wasted life and the traffic, while Maggie hatches a plant to reunite her son Jesse with his long-estranged wife and baby. As Ira explains, "She thinks the people she loves are better than they really are, and so then she starts changing things around to suit her view of them." Though everyone criticizes her for being "ordinary," Maggie's ability to see the beauty and potential in others ultimately proves that she is the only one fighting the resignation they all fear. The book captured the Pulitzer Prize for literature in 1989. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition....

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