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"POIGNANT . . . FUNNY . . . THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST IS ONE OF HER BEST. . . . [TYLER] HAS NEVER BEEN STRONGER."-The New York TimesMacon Leary is a travel writer who hates both travel and anything out of the ordinary. He is grounded by loneliness and an unwillingness to compromise his creature comforts when he meets Muriel, a deliciously peculiar dog-obedience trainer who up-ends Macon's insular world-and thrusts him headlong into a remarkable engagement with life."BITTERSWEET . . . EVOCATIVE . . . It's easy to forget this is the warm lull of fiction; you half-expect to run into her characters at the dry cleaners . . . Tyler [is] a writer of great compassion."-The Boston Globe"Tyler has given us an endlessly diverting book whose strength gathers gradually to become a genuinely thrilling one."-Los Angeles Times"A DELIGHT . . . A GRACEFUL COMIC NOVEL ABOUT GETTING THROUGH LIFE."-The Wall Street JournalFrom the Trade Paperback edition.
From the inimitable Anne Tyler, a rich and compelling novel about a mismatched marriage--and its consequences, spanning three generations.They seemed like the perfect couple--young, good-looking, made for each other. The moment Pauline, a stranger to the Polish Eastern Avenue neighborhood of Baltimore (though she lived only twenty minutes away), walked into his mother's grocery store, Michael was smitten. And in the heat of World War II fervor, they are propelled into a hasty wedding. But they never should have married.Pauline, impulsive, impractical, tumbles hit-or-miss through life; Michael, plodding, cautious, judgmental, proceeds deliberately. While other young marrieds, equally ignorant at the start, seemed to grow more seasoned, Pauline and Michael remain amateurs. In time their foolish quarrels take their toll. Even when they find themselves, almost thirty years later, loving, instant parents to a little grandson named Pagan, whom they rescue from Haight-Ashbury, they still cannot bridge their deep-rooted differences. Flighty Pauline clings to the notion that the rifts can always be patched. To the unyielding Michael, they become unbearable. From the sound of the cash register in the old grocery to the counterculture jargon of the sixties, from the miniskirts to the multilayered apparel of later years, Anne Tyler captures the evocative nuances of everyday life during these decades with such telling precision that every page brings smiles of recognition. Throughout, as each of the competing voices bears witness, we are drawn ever more fully into the complex entanglements of family life in this wise, embracing, and deeply perceptive novel.From the Hardcover edition.
"Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered that she had turned into the wrong person." So Anne Tyler opens this irresistible new novel.The woman is Rebecca Davitch, a fifty-three-year-old grandmother. Is she an impostor in her own life? she asks herself. Is it indeed her own life? Or is it someone else's?On the surface, Beck, as she is known to the Davitch clan, is outgoing, joyous, a natural celebrator. Giving parties is, after all, her vocation--something she slipped into even before finishing college, when Joe Davitch spotted her at an engagement party in his family's crumbling nineteenth-century Baltimore row house, where giving parties was the family business. What caught his fancy was that she seemed to be having such a wonderful time. Soon this large-spirited older man, a divorcé with three little girls, swept her into his orbit, and before she knew it she was embracing his extended family plus a child of their own, and hosting endless parties in the ornate, high-ceilinged rooms of The Open Arms. Now, some thirty years later, after presiding over a disastrous family picnic, Rebecca is caught un-awares by the question of who she really is. How she answers it--how she tries to recover her girlhood self, that dignified grownup she had once been--is the story told in this beguiling, funny, and deeply moving novel.As always with Anne Tyler's novels, once we enter her world it is hard to leave. But in Back When We Were Grownups she so sharpens our perceptions and awakens so many untapped feelings that we come away not only refreshed and delighted, but also infinitely wiser.From the Hardcover edition.
The warmth of the summer touches three acclaimed novels full of romance, intrigue, and heart--from beloved authors Anne Tyler, Monica McInerney, and Maeve Binchy. This amazing eBook collection is the perfect companion, whether you're spending the day at the beach or a quiet evening in your own backyard. BREATHING LESSONS Anne Tyler Winner of the Pulitzer Prize "A wonderful novel, glowing with the insight and compassion of an artist's touch."--The Boston Globe Maggie and Ira Moran have been married for twenty-eight years--and it shows: in their quarrels, in their routines, in their ability to tolerate with affection each other's eccentricities. Maggie is a kooky, lovable optimist who wants nothing more than to fix her son's broken marriage, while Ira is infuriatingly practical. When what begins as a day trip to a funeral becomes an adventure in the unexpected, Maggie and Ira must navigate the riotous twists and turns. Together they rediscover the magic of the road called life and the joy of having somebody to share the ride with, bumps and all. THE ALPHABET SISTERS Monica McInerney "Charm, laughter, and tears . . . a delightful story that shows how quarrels can be solved with love and loyalty."--Woman's Day As girls growing up in the Clare Valley, Australia, Anna, Bett, and Carrie Quinlan were childhood singing stars known as the Alphabet Sisters. As adults, though, the women haven't spoken in years--ever since Bett's fiancé deserted her to marry the younger Carrie. But now their flamboyant grandmother Lola is turning eighty, and she is determined to reunite the girls for a blowout bash. And no one ever says no to Lola. The women's short visit becomes a much longer commitment when an unexpected turn of events changes everything in ways none of them could ever have imagined. FIREFLY SUMMER Maeve Binchy "The best Binchy yet."--The New York Times Book Review Kate Ryan and her husband, John, have a rollicking pub in the Irish village of Mountfern, four lovely children, and such wonderful dreams. Then American millionaire Patrick O'Neill comes to town to build a grand hotel, with its promise of wealth and change. As love and hate vie for a town's quiet heart, loyalties are challenged, jealousies ignited, and old traditions begin to crumble away.
Anne Tyler gives us a wise, haunting, and deeply moving new novel in which she explores how a middle-aged man, ripped apart by the death of his wife, is gradually restored by her frequent appearances--in their house, on the roadway, in the market. Crippled in his right arm and leg, Aaron spent his childhood fending off a sister who wants to manage him. So when he meets Dorothy, a plain, outspoken, self-dependent young woman, she is like a breath of fresh air. Unhesitatingly he marries her, and they have a relatively happy, unremarkable marriage. But when a tree crashes into their house and Dorothy is killed, Aaron feels as though he has been erased forever. Only Dorothy's unexpected appearances from the dead help him to live in the moment and to find some peace. Gradually he discovers, as he works in the family's vanity-publishing business, turning out titles that presume to guide beginners through the trials of life, that maybe for this beginner there is a way of saying goodbye. A beautiful, subtle exploration of loss and recovery, pierced throughout with Anne Tyler's humor, wisdom, and always penetrating look at human foibles. This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
Short Stories by Ann Tyler, Bill Barich, John Updike, Carolyn Chute, Ursula K. Le Guin, Raymond Carver, and many others.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Anne Tyler's The Beginner's Goodbye.Maggie and Ira Moran have been married for twenty-eight years-and it shows: in their quarrels, in their routines, in their ability to tolerate with affection each other' s eccentricities. Maggie, a kooky, lovable meddler and an irrepressible optimist, wants nothing more than to fix her son's broken marriage. Ira is infuriatingly practical, a man "who should have married Ann Landers." And what begins as a day trip to a funeral becomes an adventure in the unexpected. As Maggie and Ira navigate the riotous twists and turns, they intersect with an assorted cast of eccentrics-and rediscover the magic of the road called life and the joy of having somebody next to you to share the ride . . . bumps and all.
"Tyler is steadily raising a body of fiction of major dimensions."THE NEW YORK TIMESThirty-eight-year-old Jeremy Pauling has never left home. He lives on the top floor of a Baltimore row house where he creates collages of little people snipped from wrapping paper. His elderly mother putters in the rooms below, until her death. And it is then that Jeremy is forced to take in Mary Tell and her child as boarders. Mary is unaware of how much courage it takes Jaremy to look her in the eye. For Jeremy, like one of his paper creations, is fragile and easily torn--especially when he's falling in love....From the Paperback edition.
Having sacked her handyman, newly-widowed Mrs Emerson finds a replacement in Elizabeth, a lanky, awkward girl. The Emersons have a reputation for craziness, there are seven adult children, and Elizabeth finds herself drawn into their disorderly lives against her will. But in the end it is hard to tell whether she is a victim of the needy Emersons, or the de facto ruler of the family.
Anne Tyler's richest, most deeply searching novel-a story about what it is to be an American, and about Iranian-born Maryam Yazdan, who, after 35 years in this country, must finally come to terms with her "outsiderness."Two families, who would otherwise never have come together, meet by chance at the Baltimore airport - the Donaldsons, a very American couple, and the Yazdans, Maryam's fully assimilated son and his attractive Iranian wife. Each couple is awaiting the arrival of an adopted infant daughter from Korea. After the instant babies from distant Asia are delivered, Bitsy Donaldson impulsively invites the Yazdans to celebrate: an "arrival party" that from then on is repeated every year as the two families become more and more deeply intertwined. Even Maryam is drawn in - up to a point. When she finds herself being courted by Bitsy Donaldson's recently widowed father, all the values she cherishes - her traditions, her privacy, her otherness-are suddenly threatened.A luminous novel brimming with subtle, funny, and tender observations that immerse us in the challenges of both sides of the American story.From the Hardcover edition.
"A book that should join those few that every literate person will have to read."THE BOSTON GLOBEPearl Tull is nearing the end of her life but not her memory. Ever since 1944 when her husband left her, she has raised her three very different children on her own. Now grown, they have gathered together--with anger, with hope, and with a beautiful, harsh, and dazzling story to tell....From the Paperback edition.
"To read a novel by Anne Tyler is to fall in love. " PEOPLE Charlotte Emory has always lived a quiet, conventional life in Clarion, Maryland. She lives as simply as possible, and one day decides to simplify everything and leave her husband. Her last trip to the bank throws Charlotte's life into an entirely different direction when a restless young man in a nylon jacket takes her hostage during the robbery--and soon the two are heading south into an unknown future, and a most unexpected fate. . . . From the Paperback edition.
"A triumph."HARPERSBen 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....
Ben Joe is at college studying law when he gets a letter from his family saying one of his six sisters, Joanne, has returned home having left her husband, bringing her baby with her. Ben Joe goes home, and when he returns he remembers the past, the death of his father, his first girlfriend. He visits his father's girlfriend and then his own ex-girlfriend, Shelley. Shelley now has a boyfriend, John, but they see each other anyway, and in the interim, Joanne starts seeing John, until her husband turns up to take her home. Ben Joe asks Shelley to go back with him and marry him, so once everyone has got back to the way they were, he heads off to college again, with Shelley.
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOKBALTIMORE WOMAN DISAPPEARS DURING FAMILY VACATION, declares the headline. Forty-year-old Delia Grinstead is last seen strolling down the Delaware shore, wearing nothing more than a bathing suit and carrying a beach tote with five hundred dollars tucked inside. To her husband and three almost-grown children, she has vanished without trace or reason. But for Delia, who feels like a tiny gnat buzzing around her family's edges, "walking away from it all" is not a premeditated act, but an impulse that will lead her into a new, exciting, and unimagined life . . . . "TYLER DETAILS DELIA'S ADVENTURE WITH GREAT SKILL . . . As so often in her earlier fiction--Celestial Navigation, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, The Accidental Tourist, and her nine other novels--[she] creates distinct characters caught in poignantly funny situations. . . .Tyler writes with a clarity that makes the commonplace seem fresh and the pathetic touching."--The New York Times"UTTERLY COMPELLING. . .WONDERFULLY SATISFYING. . .Ladder of Years is virtually flawless."--Chicago Tribune"A 'PAGE-TURNER' IN THE BEST SENSE . . . One wants to lightly caress the pages of the story because one cares for Ms. Tyler's touchingly flawed characters. . . . Both madcap and genteel, Anne Tyler knows as well as anyone that 'human beings lead many lives.' Casually, delightfully, Ladder of Years will tell you just how we humans manage this trick."--The Baltimore SunFrom the Trade Paperback edition.
You would say he was a man who had gone to pieces, or maybe he'd always been in pieces, maybe he's arrived unassembled. . . With his house in shambles, and his daughters growing up and leaving him, Morgan Grower needs new roles to play, new lives to enter into. Then comes his first, dramatic encounter with Emily Meredith. . . and the start of an extraordinary obsession.
BONUS: This edition contains a Noah's Compass discussion guide.Liam Pennywell, who set out to be a philosopher and ended up teaching fifth grade, never much liked the job at that run-down private school, so early retirement doesn't bother him. But he is troubled by his inability to remember anything about the first night that he moved into his new and spare condominium on the outskirts of Baltimore. All he knows when he wakes up the next day in the hospital is that his head is sore and bandaged. His effort to recover the moments of his life that have been stolen from him leads him on an unexpected detour. What he needs is someone who can do the remembering for him. What he gets is . . . well, something quite different.Look for special features inside.Join the Circle for author chats and more.RandomHouseReadersCircle.com
In this, her fourteenth novel--and one of her most endearing--Anne Tyler tells the story of a lovable loser who's trying to get his life in order. Barnaby Gaitlin has been in trouble ever since adolescence. He had this habit of breaking into other people's houses. It wasn't the big loot he was after, like his teenage cohorts. It was just that he liked to read other people's mail, pore over their family photo albums, and appropriate a few of their precious mementos.But for eleven years now, he's been working steadily for Rent-a-Back, renting his back to old folks and shut-ins who can't move their own porch furniture or bring the Christmas tree down from the attic. At last, his life seems to be on an even keel.Still, the Gaitlins (of "old" Baltimore) cannot forget the price they paid for buying off Barnaby's former victims. And his ex-wife would just as soon he didn't show up ever to visit their little girl, Opal. Even the nice, steady woman (his guardian angel?) who seems to have designs on him doesn't fully trust him, it develops, when the chips are down, and it looks as though his world may fall apart again.There is no one like Anne Tyler, with her sharp, funny, tender perceptions about how human beings navigate on a puzzling planet, and she keeps us enthralled from start to finish in this delicious new novel.From the Paperback edition.
9 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list! "A novel that attests once again to Ms. Tyler's enormous gifts as a writer. " --THE NEW YORK TIMES "Captivating . . . . Compelling . . . . There is a kind of magic at work in this novel. " --THE WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD In 1965, the happy Bedloe family is living an ideal, apple-pie existence in Baltimore. Then, in the blink of an eye, a single tragic event occurs that will transform their lives forever--particularly that of seventeen-year-old Ian Bedloe, the youngest son, who blames himself for the sudden "accidental" death of his older brother. Depressed and depleted, Ian is almost crushed under the weight of an unbearable, secret guilt. Then one crisp January evening, he catches sight of a window with glowing yellow neon, the CHURCH OF THE SECOND CHANCE. He enters and soon discovers that forgiveness must be earned, through a bit of sacrifice and a lot of love. . . A New York Times Notable Book
"Magic and true, dazzling and wise...It has an astounding confidence, depth and range...A wonderful, wonderful novel."THE BOSTON GLOBEDuncan Peck has a fascination for randomness and is always taking his family on the move. His wife, Justine, is a fortune teller who can't remember the past. Her grandfather, Daniel, longs to find the brother who walked out of his life in 1912, with nothing more than a fiddle in his hand. All three are taking journeys that lead back to the family's deepest roots...to a place where rebellion and acceptance have the haunting power to merge into one....From the Paperback edition.
"Without Anne Tyler, American fiction would be an immeasurably bleaker place."NEWSDAYEvie Decker is a shy, slightly plump teenager, lonely and silent. But her quiet life is shattered when she hears the voice of Drumstrings Casey on the radio and becomes instantly attracted to him. She manages to meet him, bursting out of her lonely shell--and into the attentive gaze of the intangible man who becomes all too real....From the Paperback edition.
From the beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning author--now in the fiftieth year of her remarkable career--a brilliantly observed, joyful and wrenching, funny and true new novel that reveals, as only she can, the very nature of a family's life. "It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon." This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she fell in love with Red that day in July 1959. The whole family--their two daughters and two sons, their grandchildren, even their faithful old dog--is on the porch, listening contentedly as Abby tells the tale they have heard so many times before. And yet this gathering is different too: Abby and Red are growing older, and decisions must be made about how best to look after them, and the fate of the house so lovingly built by Red's father. Brimming with the luminous insight, humor, and compassion that are Anne Tyler's hallmarks, this capacious novel takes us across three generations of the Whitshanks, their shared stories and long-held secrets, all the unguarded and richly lived moments that combine to define who and what they are as a family.
"It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon. . ." This is how Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she fell in love with Red that day in July 1959. The Whitshanks are one of those families that radiate togetherness: an indefinable, enviable kind of specialness. But they are also like all families, in that the stories they tell themselves reveal only part of the picture. Abby and Red and their four grown children have accumulated not only tender moments, laughter, and celebrations, but also jealousies, disappointments, and carefully guarded secrets. From Red's father and mother, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to Abby and Red's grandchildren carrying the family legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century, here are four generations of Whitshanks, their lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn Baltimore house that has always been their anchor.Brimming with all the insight, humor, and generosity of spirit that are the hallmarks of Anne Tyler's work, A Spool of Blue Thread tells a poignant yet unsentimental story in praise of family in all its emotional complexity. It is a novel to cherish.This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
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....From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the author of The New York Times phenomenal bestseller, The Accidental Tourist, comes a novel of love and courage. Little Janie Rose was dead. Each member of the Pike family dealt with grief in a different way, yet each had a wound that was raw and open.