Anne Tyler biography, plus links to book reviews and book excerpts from books by Anne Tyler.

Author Biography  |  Interview  |  Books by this Author  |  Readalikes

Anne Tyler
© Diana Walker

Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler Biography

Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis in 1941 but grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She graduated at nineteen from Duke University, and went on to do graduate work in Russian studies at Columbia University. She has published seventeen books. Her eleventh novel, Breathing Lessons, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. Tyler is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

This biography was last updated on 12/28/2010.

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Interview

An Interview With Anne Tyler About Patchwork Planet

Your protagonist in this novel, Barnaby Gaitlin, has been described as an average, ordinary man. Is this how you would describe him?
I think Barnaby is average and ordinary only to the extent that most people are average and ordinary--that is, not very, if you look carefully enough.

Barnaby is, among other things, a man struggling to cast off the weight of his past. How successful is he, and indeed any of us, in doing so?
I do believe that Barnaby is at least largely successful in getting out from under the weight of his past--that's where the plot derives its movement.

At the close of this novel, we are left wondering just exactly who is Barnaby's angel. How would you answer this question?
Barnaby has not just one but many angels--the network of people he lives among who see him for the good man he is and wish him well and do what they can to ease his life.

You delightfully skewer class pretensions in this novel, most notably in the form of Barnaby's mother, Margot, and explore the cost and meaning of class mobility in America. Why is this such a central theme in your work?
I've always enjoyed studying the small clues ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Anne Tyler at BookBrowse

Recommended in Detail at BookBrowse

The Amateur Marriage
The Amateur Marriage

by Anne Tyler

A rich and compelling novel about a mismatched marriage—and its consequences, spanning three generations.
Read More

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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Anne Tyler but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Pat Conroy

    Pat Conroy

    Pat Conroy, born in Atlanta in 1945, was the first of seven children of a young career military officer from Chicago and a Southern beauty from Alabama, to whom Pat often credits for his love of language. The Conroys moved ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Back When We Were Grownups

    Try:
    South of Broad
    by Pat Conroy

  • Michael Cunningham

    Michael Cunningham

    Michael Cunningham is the author of the novels A Home at the End of the World, Flesh and Blood, The Hours (winner of the Pen/Faulkner Award & Pulitzer Prize), and Specimen Days. He lives in New York. (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Amateur Marriage

    Try:
    The Hours
    by Michael Cunningham

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