Books by Anne Tyler

THE BEGINNER'S GOODBYE by Anne Tyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 3, 2012

"An uncharacteristically slight work by a major novelist."
Though the plot finds a man in early middle age coming to terms with the death of his wife, the tone of this whimsical fable is so light that it practically floats off the page. Read full book review >
NOAH’S COMPASS by Anne Tyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 2, 2009

"And so will be the reader."
Instead of the measured critical commentary typically found here, let's consider this column a mash note. Read full book review >
DIGGING TO AMERICA by Anne Tyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 9, 2006

"Vintage Tyler, with enough fresh, new touches to earn her the next generation of fans."
The veteran novelist (The Amateur Marriage, 2004, etc.) extends her range without losing her essence in this tale of two families drawn together by their adopted daughters despite the friction created by their very different personalities and ethnicities. Read full book review >
BEST OF THE SOUTH, VOLUME II by Anne Tyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 16, 2005

"An unblinking look at regional ills and richness that suffers from a dearth of African-American voices."
Culled from successive annual collections of New Stories from the South, these strong selections by novelist Anne Tyler stretch from 1996 to 2005. Read full book review >
TIMOTHY TUGBOTTOM SAYS NO by Anne Tyler
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

"The sudden transformation in Timothy may seem unrealistic, but youngsters who resist change will find a good example and a peer in this celebrated novelist's latest work for children. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Young Timothy Tugbottom doesn't like change. Read full book review >
THE AMATEUR MARRIAGE by Anne Tyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2004

"So smart, so sensitive, so readable and engaging. Is it churlish to suggest that an author obviously at the peak of her powers should broaden her horizons and push herself a little harder the next time out?"
Painfully accurate and painfully funny as ever, Tyler's 16th novel (Back When We Were Grownups, 2001, etc.) traces the stormy union of two people who love but can't stand each other. Read full book review >
BACK WHEN WE WERE GROWNUPS by Anne Tyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 8, 2001

"Packed with life in all its humdrum complexity—and funny, so funny, the kind that compels reading aloud. A masterful effort from one of our very best. "
The Family Davitch—dazzling and daunting, dismal and dysfunctional—arrives in Tyler's delicious l5th novel (A Patchwork Planet, 1998, etc.). Read full book review >
A PATCHWORK PLANET by Anne Tyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 22, 1998

"Absolutely wonderful: Tyler's many admirers are sure to number this among her very best work."
Tyler's appealing warmth and flair for eccentric comedy are abundantly displayed in her superb 14th novel, following close on the heels of such recent successes as Breathing Lessons (1988) and Saint Maybe (1991). Read full book review >
LADDER OF YEARS by Anne Tyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 3, 1995

"Still, any journey with Tyler is always worth the ride — and then some."
Another agreeably offbeat journey back to Tyler country (i.e., Baltimore and environs), where the characters who will fill the big, slightly dowdy, old houses are spellbound by their own homely lives, their routines, their family stories, their recipes for mint pea soup — until something happens to break the spell. Read full book review >
TUMBLE TOWER by Anne Tyler
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"Good fun. (Picture book. 4-8)"
The well-known novelist's first children's book is a gently subversive fable celebrating the rewards of disorder. Read full book review >
SAINT MAYBE by Anne Tyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"Less accessible than some of Tyler's others, but on its own terms, perfection."
Many of Tyler's principals, introverted, removed, plod around the perimeters of self like patient dray horses, so it's no surprise that her saint here—a Baltimore teen convinced that he caused not only his brother's death but the dire consequences that followed shortly after—is a deliberate and careful saint, laboring conscientiously on the narrow, plainly marked path of a fundamentalist Christian church toward expiation. Read full book review >
BREATHING LESSONS by Anne Tyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 15, 1988

"A seriocomic journey in which, as always, underlying the character-rooted, richly comic turns, is Tyler's affectionate empathy for those who detour—and "practice life" to "get it right."
In Tyler's latest testing of the strangulating tugs and miraculous stretch of familial and marital ties, a middle-aged Baltimore couple (inexplicably linked, like so many of Tyler's lovers) take a one-day's detour-clogged trip to a funeral. Read full book review >
THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST by Anne Tyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 11, 1985

"Tone-perfect, and probably her best to date."
How do "impossible" couples evolve? Read full book review >
THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 1983 by Anne Tyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 30, 1983

"Still—one of the better post-Foley anthologies, with few risks and few inspired moments, but also with few pretensions or embarrassments."
For 1982, Wright Morris' "Victrola"—a Chekhovian tale of man-dog attachment—was clearly the story of the year: it was the standout of William Abrahams' strong O. Henry Award collection (p. 191)—and it's certainly the standout of this less impressive gathering by novelist Tyler, 1983's guest-editor for the Best American Short Stories series. Read full book review >
DINNER AT THE HOMESICK RESTAURANT by Anne Tyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 26, 1982

"Less magical, perhaps, than other Tylers—but her vision of saving interdependencies and time's witchiness continues to tease and enchant."
Another of Tyler's family portraits: again she draws forth that elusive aura of redemptive family unity—despite snapped loyalties, devastating loneliness, and the conflicts between those who hit life hard and those who "live life at a slant." Read full book review >
MORGAN'S PASSING by Anne Tyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 1980

"The Tyler trademarks—surface warmth and humor with a cutting undertow—again on impressive, irresistible display."
You could say Morgan was a man who'd gone to pieces. . . maybe he'd arrived unassembled." Read full book review >
SEARCHING FOR CALEB by Anne Tyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 1975

"Miss Tyler is at her most flighty—also twenty feet off the ground—but she always evolves the hardest of insights from the gentlest of people."
Anne Tyler returns to the "auras" of old families which she first explored in her novels of the mid-60's. Read full book review >
CELESTIAL NAVIGATION by Anne Tyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 1973

"But her decaying hermitages still stimulate and entrap."
Miss Tyler's family webs which vibrate with the slightest whisper usually take place in crumbling frame houses, all with that faint sweet odor of failure, roaches and dusty vestibules. Read full book review >
CLOCK WINDER by Anne Tyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 1972

"Another gently insidious exposure of the adders under the veranda."
Miss Tyler again explores family connections in terms of compensatory stress and balances, necessary exclusions, and the loneliness of outsiders resisting absorption. Mrs. Emerson is the vortex of the Baltimore Emerson family, a widow "wearing pastels, holding out smooth white hands with polished nails," to receive her intermittently returning seven children whom she controls with charged verbiage: "Oh, everything she said nowadays was attached to other things by long gluey strands. . . touching off chords, opening doors." Read full book review >
A SLIPPING-DOWN LIFE by Anne Tyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 11, 1970

"Lacking some of the delicacy of her earlier novels, perhaps, but Miss Tyler still exhibits a major talent, and this has a bleak, raw power."
Miss Tyler's landscapes of old houses, family gatherings have flattened, and stretched into an arid plain, and the interior and guarded loneliness of individuals becomes as abstracted as desert heat—shattering, heartbreaking, final. Read full book review >
THE TIN CAN TREE by Anne Tyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 18, 1965

"Deceptively simple, hauntingly real, a glowing talent."
The remarkable Miss Tyler is again concerned (as in If Morning, Ever Comes) with the blessed and mysterious ways of gatherings and congregations—the company one chooses on one Journey of isolation; the home ties that bind or burn away; the quiet containments. Read full book review >
IF MORNING EVER COMES by Anne Tyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 19, 1964

"A skillful tale and a joy to read."
A modest style, a gentle, bumbling protagonist, and family events in a low key, lend this novel a deceptive aura of ease, for just an eyeblink away from the surface action is an ambitious and tantalizing notion of love, time and identity. Read full book review >