Friday, April 13, 2012

Read Alike: Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler, whose career spans decades, is known for her character-driven stories and quirky characters. Her books are often set in the Baltimore area. The focus of her insightful novels on the trials of family and domestic life, with a touch of the unexpected, has proven popular with readers and critics. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for Breathing Lessons, and her Digging to America was selected as the 2008 All Iowa Reads title.

Ms. Tyler is also well known for rarely making author appearances or in person interviews, but with the publication of her latest novel, The Beginner's Goodbye, she did participate in a rare interview with NPR. The Beginner's Goodbye is the story of a middle-aged man haunted by the unexpected death of his wife, and how he learns to go on.

If you enjoy Ms. Tyler's writing, you may also enjoy these authors:

The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards
Ms. Edwards writes character-driven novels that focus on family relationships. She is best known for her debut novel (and the topic of an earlier read alike post) The Memory Keeper's Daughter. Ms. Edwards' writing tends to have a more melancholy tone than Ms. Tyler's, but readers find it easy to relate to her strong female characters and typically hopeful endings. Her most recent novel, The Lake of Dreams, tells the story of Lucy Jarrett who has returned to her family home after a long absence and faces the unresolved emotions from her father's death.

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
Ms. Simonson’s first novel of love and family in a small English community tackles the issues of globalization and the legacies of colonialism with warmth and humor. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand is a quiet, character-driven romance told from the perspective of Major Pettigrew, a widower and entirely conventional community member who finds he shares an unexpected bond with the widowed Mrs. Jasmina Ali.

Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg
Ms. Berg tackles difficult yet universal challenges such as death and unrequited love in her character-driven novels, leavening the tragic with a touch of humor. Her moving stories follow average women as they are faced with the unexpected. Try Home Safe, the recently widowed Helen Ames discovers that her husband secretly withdrew $850,000 from their retirement savings. Helen and her daughter Tessa embark on a heartwarming journey to discover where the money went.

An Available Man by Hilma Wolitzer
Ms. Wolitzer, the mother of author Meg Wolitzer, has been publishing novels for decades (with one twelve year gap) that explore the changing mental and emotional realities of family life. Her characters are colorful, and the tone of her novels range from funny to bittersweet. In her most recent novel, An Available Man, Edward Schuyler discovers that a widower in good health of a certain age is a hot commodity on the senior's dating market. Mr. Schuyler, however, is not ready to move on from the unexpected death of his much younger wife.

The Widower's Tale by Julia Glass
National Book Award winner Julia Glass is another author known for writing character-driven novels that explore the dysfunctional aspects of family life. She makes great use of descriptive language, and often has multiple narrators. The Widower's Tale, her most recent novel, also tackles the challenges of life after the death of a spouse. Funny and thought-provoking, the plot follows septuagenarian Percy Darling as he opens his home to a preschool, his family, and the people brought into his life by the preschool.

Please stop by the Recommendations Desk on the first floor, check out NoveList Plus on the library's website, or visit W. 11th & Bluff next week for more reading suggestions. Or submit a Personal Recommendations request, and we'll create a reading list just for you!

No comments:

Post a Comment