Sunday, February 7, 2010

FAVORITE OF THE WEEK: Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Anne Tyler, famous for her novel “Accidental Tourist” her latest novel is “Noah’s Compass”

Welcome to Up Close and Personal. Once a week, on a Sunday, a favorite author, journalist will be featured as ‘Favorite of the Week”. The article will give them more exposure and publicity about their recent work.

This week we choose Anne Tyler, she has been writing novels for more than forty years. Her first, "If Morning Ever Comes", was published in 1964—and while many of her novels encapsulate one or several whole lives, her protagonists tend to be people her own age, which these days means people in their sixties.

Most of her short stories have been published in The New Yorker, The Saturday Evening Post, Redbook, McCall's, and Harper's,

Her latest 18th novel, “Noah’s Compass” is about Liam Pennywell, a man of unexceptional talents, plain demeanor, modest means and curtailed ambition.

At age 60, he's been fired from his teaching job at a second-rate private boys' school in Baltimore, a job below his academic training and original expectations. An unsentimental, noncontemplative survivor of two failed marriages and the emotionally detached father of three grown daughters, Liam is jolted into alarm after he's attacked in his apartment and loses all memory of the experience.

His search to recover those lost hours leads him into an uneasy exploration of his disappointing life and into an unlikely new relationship with Eunice, a socially inept walking fashion disaster who is half his age. She is also spontaneous and enthusiastic, and Liam longs to cast off his inertia and embrace the joyous recklessness that he feels in her company.

Her eleventh novel, Breathing Lessons, received the Pulitzer Prize in 1989. The Accidental Tourist was awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1985 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1986.

The Accidental Tourist became a 1988 American drama film. It was directed by four-time Oscar nominee, Lawrence Kasdan and scored by John Williams. “The Accidental Tourist” was one of the most acclaimed films of 1988; it was nominated for several awards including four Academy Awards. The cast includes academy award-winner, William Hurt, Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner, Kathleen Turner and Oscar-winning actress, Geena Davis.

Ms. Tyler's ninth novel, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, which she considers her best work, was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1983. She has edited three anthologies: The Best American Short Stories 1983, Best of the South, and Best of the South: The Best of the Second Decade.

She is noteworthy among contemporary best selling novelists, for she does not grant face-to-face interviews and rarely does book tours, nor does she make many other public appearances, although she has made herself available through email interviews.
She is the eldest of four children. Her father was a chemist and her mother a social worker. Her early childhood was spent in a succession of Quaker communities in the mountains of North Carolina and in Raleigh.

She graduated at age nineteen from Duke University, completed graduate work in Russian studies at Columbia University in New York City and worked as a librarian and bibliographer before moving to Maryland.

In 1963, she married Iranian psychiatrist and novelist Dr. Taghi Mohammad Modarressi, with whom she had two daughters, Tezh and Mitra.

Her daughter Mitra is an author and illustrator of children’s books. Dr. Taghi Modarressi died in 1997. Anne Tyler resides in Baltimore, Maryland, where most of her novels are set, often crossing decades in a family's life.

Photo of Anne Tyler by Dianne Walker

To purchase Anne Tyler's books, please visit AMAZON and Barnes & Noble

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