MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Excerpt from Clock Dance by Anne Tyler, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Clock Dance

A Novel

by Anne Tyler

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler X
Clock Dance by Anne Tyler
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2018, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2019, 304 pages

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Print Excerpt


Willa said, "Actually, I'm not ..."

But this time she stopped speaking on her own, and there was a little pause. Then Callie let out another whoosh of smoke and said, "I live two doors down from Denise. Three fourteen Dorcas Road."

"Three fourteen," Willa said faintly.

"You've got my number on your phone now, right? Let me know when you find out what time you're getting in."

"Wait!" Willa said.

But Callie had hung up by then.

Of course Willa wouldn't go. That would be crazy. She would have to call Callie back and confess she was not the child's grandmother. But first she spent an enjoyable moment pretending she might really do this.

The truth was that lately, she had not had quite enough happening in her life. She and her husband had moved this past fall to a golfing community outside of Tucson. (Peter was passionate about golf. Willa didn't even know how to play.) She had had to leave behind an ESL teaching job that she loved, and she was hoping to find another one, but she hadn't exactly looked into that yet. She seemed to be sort of paralyzed, in fact. And Peter was out for hours every day with his golf chums, and her sons lived far away—Sean managing the Towson, Maryland, branch of Sports Infinity, Ian doing something environmental in the Sierra Nevada mountains—and both of her parents were dead and she rarely laid eyes on her sister. She didn't even have any woman friends here, not close ones.

What would a person pack, she wondered, if this person were to contemplate making a trip to Baltimore? It would certainly not be a formal place. She tried to remember whether that A-line dress she liked to travel in was back from the cleaners yet. She went to her closet to check.

By the time her husband returned from his game, she had a seat on the first available flight the next day.

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Excerpted from Clock Dance by Anne Tyler. Copyright © 2018 by Anne Tyler. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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  Baltimore's Storied Past

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