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Anne Tyler Novels

Anne Tyler is one of my favorite authors.

Award winning fiction writer Anne Tyler is a real inspiration to me as a writer.She was one of the first authors to show me that a novel that honestly showed ordinary people’s lives could actually be an agent of change.

I always feel so emotionally moved when I read one of her novels!

She is the author of 22 novels, and many short stories at this time, and all are worth reading. I have also enjoyed The Accidental Tourist , the movie inspired by her work. This book centers on one of Tyler’s unforgettable characters: Macon Leary. Macon makes his living writing the Accidental Tourist guides – guides that show you how to visit places without actually knowing you have left home. For instance, he shows you how to find the MacDonald in Rome.

I highly recommend all the Tyler books and movies if you want to enter into a world that you will not forget, and want to have your heart touched.

Anne Tyler’s books are character driven

One of the reasons I love Anne Tyler so is that her work is so character driven rather than plot driven.

You will always remember her characters. Perhaps they had ordinary lives, but she paints them in an extra-ordinary light.

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant.

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant (Ballantine Reader's Circle)Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant (Ballantine Reader’s Circle)Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant (Ballantine Reader's Circle)

My favorite Anne Tyler novel, is also the novel that she considers the finest.This poignant tale of the Tull family is one that you will not easily forget. Ordinary people – seen in extraordinary focus.

In this story we learned the story of Pearl’s desolation at being abandoned by her husband, and her response as she raised her children coping as best they could. The ex-husband never forgot her, and you will not either.

“The Homesick Restaurant” is the cafe of one of the sons, Ezra. The name of the book is symbolic of his many attempts to have a nice family dinner there, which always failed, until Pearl’s funeral.


The Accidental Tourist Movie – Excellent Adaptation of the Anne Tyler Novel

What would your life be like if you hated to travel – and your job was being a travel writer?

What if your precious son had been murdered, and your marriage was falling apart?

What if you went through a depression so deep you could hardly get out of bed, and eating popcorn was the only thing that made sense to you?

What if you had an unruly dog you couldn’t handle on top of everything?

Geena Davis, William Hurt and Kathleen Turner do outstanding jobs in this adaptation of Anne Tyler’s

The Accidental Tourist by Bill PullmanThe Accidental Tourist by Bill PullmanThe Accidental Tourist by Bill Pullman


The Accidental Tourist

The Weekend Novelist by Robert Ray – – Novel Writing Based on the Accidental Tourist

The Weekend NovelistThe Weekend NovelistThe Weekend Novelist


I think it is telling that The Accidental Tourist: A Novel by Anne Tyler was used as a teaching tool for novel structure and writing in this lovely step by step guide.

This guide is used to teach novels in classes and as personal guides to budding novelists.

I loved reading The Weekend Novelist by Robert Ray.

Anne Tyler’s Characters are Ordinary yet Memorable

Tyler’s characters are “ordinary” people and yet so memorable. She has said “I do make a point of writing down every imaginable facet of my characters before I begin a book, trying to get to know them so I can figure out how they’ll react in any situation…..My reason for writing now is to live lives other than my own, and I do that by burrowing deeper and deeper….till I reach the center of those lives.” I have heard of that technique with fiction writers, and imagine her writing and maybe doodling out details about her characters.

Perhaps many of those details remain hidden, but we reap the benefits by feeling like we actually know the people she is talking about. And the heroes of her novels are not perfect: in fact we love them more because they are flawed.

Breathing Lessons

Tyler’s 11th novel won her the Pulitzer Prize. It is unique in that it occurred in one day, as an ordinary couple travel to and from Baltimore to attend a funeral. As they travel we learn about their sacrifices to have an ordinary life, and ended up having a very interesting instead,

Maggie is a talker – her husband Ira, the pinnacle of the strong, stoic types. As well – Maggie is a meddler. To the point where she talked a young woman out of having an abortion and married her off to their son.

Ira said about his wife “It’s Maggie’s weakness. She believes it’s all right to alter people’s lives. She thinks the people she loves are better than they really are, and so then she starts changing things around to suit her point of view of them.”

One more portrait of a marriage – Breathing Lessons will hold you fascinated and touch your heart.

Breathing LessonsBreathing LessonsBreathing Lessons


Anne Tyler Novels Deserve a Place on Everyone’s Bookshelf

I hope I have presented enough of a case for Anne Tyler novels because I truly think she should be read more.

Like the picture by Cherry Ride shown here, “Must love Anne Tyler” could be a firm quality on anyone’s personal ad.

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1 Comment

  1. When I worked in a library in Baltimore, Anne Tyler used to come into the Towson branch sometimes. The staff was thrilled to have a noted author using our library.

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Meet The Author


Gypzeerose - aka Rose Jones - is a Mom, nerdy, fun loving traveller through life, currently living in the East Bay in the San Francisco Area.

She loves to write and blog, and has aspirations towards fiction.

She can be found ferociously packing boxes and packages as an eBay seller at http://stores.ebay.com/Gypzeeroses-Bargains-and-Treasures

In her spare time she is a nurse. :)

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