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Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is the author of more than twenty novels. Her twentieth novel, A SPOOL OF BLUE THREAD, was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2015. Her eleventh novel, BREATHING LESSONS, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
We looked at all of the books written by Anne Tyler for you and after hours of hair-splitting research, we bring some of the best Anne Tyler books to you.
It isn’t an easy task to find the best books of an author because every book is different from each other. So, we also consider the scores based on selling and readers review of various book ranking websites like Goodreads, Amazon, LibraryThing, BookBub, Bookish, etc to find the best books.
Hope, this article about 10 best Anne Tyler books will help you to narrow down your choice to make your book selection process easier and faster.
Top 10 Best Books By Anne Tyler
The top 10 Anne Tyler books are generalized below.
In this irresistible novel, Anne Tyler explores the slippery alchemy of attracting opposites, and the struggle to rebuild one’s life after unspeakable tragedy. Travel writer Macon Leary hates travel, adventure, surprises, and anything outside of his routine. Immobilized by grief, Macon is becoming increasingly prickly and alone, anchored by his solitude and an unwillingness to compromise his creature comforts. Then he meets Muriel, an eccentric dog trainer too optimistic to let Macon disappear into himself.
Despite Macon’s best efforts to remain insulated, Muriel up-ends his solitary, systemized life, catapulting him into the center of a messy, beautiful love story he never imagined. A fresh and timeless tale of unexpected bliss, The Accidental Tourist showcases Tyler’s talents for making characters and their relationships which feel both real and magical.
Forty-year-old Delia Grinstead is last seen strolling down the Delaware shore, wearing nothing more than a bathing suit and carrying a beach tote with five hundred dollars tucked inside. To her husband and three almost-grown children, she has vanished without trace or reason.
But for Delia, who feels like a tiny gnat buzzing around her family’s edges, “walking away from it all” is not a premeditated act but an impulse that will lead her into a new, exciting, and unimagined life. Once again, Anne Tyler dazzles us with her magic.
Abandoned by her wander lusting husband, stoic Pearl raised her three children on her own. Now grown, the siblings are inextricably linked by their memories which hold them together despite their differences. Hardened by life’s disappointments, wealthy, charismatic Cody has turned cruel and envious.
Thrice-married Jenny is errant and passionate. And Ezra, the flawed saint of the family, who stayed at home to look after his mother, runs a restaurant where he cooks what other people are homesick for, stubbornly yearning for the perfect family he never had. Now gathered during a time of loss, they will reluctantly unlock the shared secrets of their past and discover if what binds them together is stronger than what tears them apart.
Soulful and redemptive—full of heartbreak and hope—this portrait of a family will remind you why Anne Tyler is one of the most beloved writers working today.
Maggie and Ira Moran have been married for twenty-eight years and it shows in their quarrels, in their routines, in their ability to tolerate with affection each other’s eccentricities. Maggie, a kooky, lovable meddler, and an irrepressible optimist want nothing more than to fix her son’s broken marriage.
Ira is infuriatingly practical, a man who should have married Ann Landers. And what begins as a day trip to a funeral becomes an adventure in the unexpected. As Maggie and Ira navigate the riotous twists and turns, they intersect with an assorted cast of eccentrics and rediscover the magic of the road called life and the joy of having somebody next to you to share the ride bumps and all.
From the inimitable Anne Tyler, a rich and compelling novel about a mismatched marriage and its consequences, spanning three generations. They seemed like the perfect couple, young, good-looking, made for each other. Pauline, impulsive, impractical, tumbles hit-or-miss through life; Michael, plodding, cautious, judgmental, proceeds deliberately.
While other young marrieds, equally ignorant at the start, seemed to grow more seasoned, Pauline and Michael remain amateurs. In time their foolish quarrels take their toll. Even when they find themselves, almost thirty years later, loving, instant parents to a little grandson named Pagan, whom they rescue from Haight-Ashbury, they still cannot bridge their deep-rooted differences. Flighty Pauline clings to the notion that the rifts can always be patched. To the unyielding Michael, they become unbearable.
From the sound of the cash register in the old grocery to the counterculture jargon of the sixties, from the miniskirts to the multilayered apparel of later years, Anne Tyler captures the evocative nuances of everyday life during these decades with such telling precision that every page brings smiles of recognition.
Throughout, as each of the competing voices bears witness, we are drawn ever more fully into the complex entanglements of family life in this wise, embracing, and deeply perceptive novel.
In this, her fourteenth novel and one of her most endearing, Anne Tyler tell the story of a lovable loser who’s trying to get his life in order.
Barnaby Gaitlin has been in trouble ever since adolescence. He had this habit of breaking into other people’s houses. It wasn’t the big loot he was after, like his teenage cohorts. It was just that he liked to read other people’s mail, pore over their family photo albums, and appropriate a few of their precious mementos.
But for eleven years now, he’s been working steadily for Rent-a-Back, renting his back to old folks and shut-ins who can’t move their own porch furniture or bring the Christmas tree down from the attic. At last, his life seems to be on an even keel.
Still, the Gaitlins cannot forget the price they paid for buying off Barnaby’s former victims. And his ex-wife would just as soon he didn’t show up ever to visit their little girl, Opal. Even the nice, steady woman who seems to have designs on him doesn’t fully trust him, it develops, when the chips are down, and it looks as though his world may fall apart again.
There is no one like Anne Tyler, with her sharp, funny, tender perceptions about how human beings navigate on a puzzling planet, and she keeps us enthralled from start to finish in this delicious new novel.
In what is perhaps her richest and most deeply searching novel, Anne Tyler gives us a story about what it is to be an American, and about Maryam Yazdan, who after thirty-five years in this country must finally come to terms with her “outsiderness.”
Two families, who would otherwise never have come together, meet by chance at the Baltimore airport—the Donaldsons, a very American couple, and the Yazdans, Maryam’s fully assimilated son and his attractive Iranian American wife. Each couple is awaiting the arrival of an adopted infant daughter from Korea. After the babies from distant Asia are delivered, Bitsy Donaldson impulsively invites the Yazdans to celebrate with an “arrival party,” an event that is repeated every year as the two families become more deeply intertwined.
Even independent-minded Maryam is drawn in. But only up to a point. When she finds herself being courted by one of the Donaldson clan, a good-hearted man of her vintage, recently widowed and still recovering from his wife’s death, suddenly all the values she cherishes—her traditions, her privacy, her otherness—are threatened. Somehow this big American takes up so much space that the orderly boundaries of her life feel invaded.
A luminous novel brimming with subtle, funny, and tender observations that cast a penetrating light on the American way as seen from two perspectives, those who are born here and those who are still struggling to fit in.
Ian Bedloe is the ideal teenage son, leading a cheery, apple-pie life with his family in Baltimore. That is, until a careless and vicious rumor leads to a devastating tragedy. Imploding from guilt, Ian believes he is the one responsible for the tragedy. No longer a star athlete with a bright future, and desperately searching for salvation, he stumbles across a storefront with a neon sign that simply reads: CHURCH OF THE SECOND CHANCE.
Ian has always viewed his penance as a burden. But through the power of faith and the love of family, he begins to view it as a gift. After years spent trying to atone for his foolish mistakes, Ian finds forgiveness and peace in the life he builds for himself.
Through the syncopated rhythms of the ragtime era to the thumping, rocking beats of the 1970s, generations of Pecks have maintained a determined steadiness. Adamantly middle class—Peck-proud, as the family slogan goes—they are quick to sweep under the rug those members who do not live up to their standards.
Maybe that’s why Caleb Peck took off with his violoncello as a boy? Sixty years later, his brother Daniel is still wondering. No longer willing to live without answers, he turns to his daughter-in-law, Justine, another Peck family eccentric. A studied tarot card reader, Justine comes across one message over and over in the cards: change is coming. With Daniel’s help, she’s hoping to find the courage to embrace whatever happens next.
An unlikely pair struggling against a stifling family, Daniel and Justine believe they’ll find freedom in just the right mix of magic, music, and mystery.
Anne Tyler gives us a wise, haunting, and deeply moving new novel in which she explores how a middle-aged man, ripped apart by the death of his wife, is gradually restored by her frequent appearances—in their house, on the roadway, in the market.
Crippled in his right arm and leg, Aaron spent his childhood fending off a sister who wants to manage him. So, when he meets Dorothy, a plain, outspoken, self-dependent young woman, she is like a breath of fresh air. Unhesitatingly he marries her, and they have a relatively happy, unremarkable marriage. But when a tree crashes into their house and Dorothy is killed, Aaron feels as though he has been erased forever. Only Dorothy’s unexpected appearances from the dead help him to live in the moment and to find some peace.
Gradually he discovers, as he works in the family’s vanity-publishing business, turning out titles that presume to guide beginners through the trials of life, that maybe for this beginner there is a way of saying goodbye.
A beautiful, subtle exploration of loss and recovery, pierced throughout with Anne Tyler’s humor, wisdom, and always penetrating look at human foibles.
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Also read: Anne Tyler Books In Order