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"Anne Tyler (born October 25, 1941) is an American novelist, short story writer, and literary critic. She has published 20 novels, the best known of which are Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant (1982), The Accidental Tourist (1985), and Breathing Lessons (1988). All three were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction with Breathing Lessons winning the prize in 1989. She has also won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, the Ambassador Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. In 2012 she was awarded The Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence. She is recognized for her fully developed characters, her “brilliantly imagined and absolutely accurate detail,” and her “rigorous and artful style” and “astute and open language.” While many of her characters have been described as quirky or eccentric, she has managed to make them seem real through skillfully fleshing out their inner lives in great depth. Her subject in all her novels has been the American family and marriage: the boredom and exasperating irritants endured by partners, children, siblings, parents; the desire for freedom pulling against the tethers of attachments and conflicted love; the evolution over time of familial love and sense of duty. Tyler celebrates unremarkable Americans and the ordinary details of their everyday lives. Because of her style and subject matter, she has been compared to John Updike, to Jane Austen, and to Eudora Welty, among others.
Ben Joe Hawkes comes from a fairly large, blindly cheerful family that never seems to know when to get upset. Raised by women—a proud mother, an incorrigible grandmother, and a flock of busy sisters—Ben Joe has always been an outsider of sorts, and a chronic worrier.
Then a casual telephone conversation with his mom, in which he discovers that one of his sisters has left her husband and run off with her baby, propels him back home—and into the confusion of childhood memories and unforeseen love.
“Without Anne Tyler, American fiction would be an immeasurably bleaker place.” —Newsday
“One of the most beguiling and mesmerizing writers in America.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer
“To read a novel by Anne Tyler is to fall in love.” —People