An Anne Tyler Companion

An Anne Tyler Companion

An Anne Tyler Companion

An Anne Tyler Companion


Best known as the author of The Accidental Tourist (1985), Anne Tyler has published 13 novels and almost 50 short stories. She has won numerous honors, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and her work has attracted the attention of scholars and general readers alike. This reference book is a guide to her fascinating fictional worlds. An introductory essay overviews her life and career. The volume then presents alphabetically arranged entries for her works and characters and for the various themes that figure prominently in her writings. The entries for her novels consist mostly of commentary. But because her short stories are less accessible, those entries also include extensive plot summaries. Many of the entries include bibliographies of reviews and criticism, and the volume closes with an extensive bibliography and appendices of places and songs mentioned in her works.


This book grew out of a need that I discovered as I was working on my dissertation on Anne Tyler. Although Tyler is a major contemporary novelist with thirteen published novels and almost fifty short stories, I soon discovered that no reference guide to her works existed. So, as I was researching my earlier book, Anne Tyler: a Bio-Bibliography, I began to work on such a reference guide so that information on Tyler's works would be more readily accessible to future Tyler scholars and aficionados.

In particular, Tyler's many short stories, published over a period of more than thirty years in a wide range of publications, some of them obscure and virtually inaccessible, are sometimes hard to locate. To make matters worse, Tyler herself has no plans to collect her short stories any time soon. Therefore, the short story entries, which synopsize and comment upon her short stories, should be very helpful to those interested in extending their knowledge of Tyler's work beyond her novels.

This book begins with a short introductory chapter on Tyler's life, followed by a second chapter discussing her major themes and motifs. Those interested in a fuller treatment of her life should consult my earlier book.

The main section of the book consists of encyclopedic entries, arranged alphabetically, on each of Tyler's novels and short stories. At the end of the entries on her novels are suggestions for further reading, as well as a selected list of book reviews on that novel. the entries on novels mainly focus on commentary rather than providing exhaustive plot summary. For the short story entries, however, I included both commentary and a detailed synopsis

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