À soixante et un ans, Willa Drake mène une existence réglée comme du papier à musique en Arizona. Jusqu'à un coup de fil venu de l'autre bout du pays lui apprenant que la compagne de son fils s'est fait tirer dessus. Sa petite-fille a besoin d'elle ! Tant pis s'il s'agit d'une erreur de numéro, Willa abandonne tout et file à Baltimore devenir grand-mère.
Dans La Danse du temps, Anne Tyler nous rappelle avec humour et tendresse qu'il n'est jamais trop tard pour choisir sa vie.
Née en 1941 dans le Minnesota, Anne Tyler vit depuis de nombreuses années à Baltimore, cadre de plusieurs de ses livres. Figure majeure de la littérature américaine contemporaine, prix Pulitzer en 1989 pour Leçons de conduite, elle s'attache à détricoter la légende dorée de l'American way of life depuis un bon demi-siècle...
« Une oeuvre remarquable à ajouter au prodigieux catalogue de Anne Tyler. »
« La Danse du temps, parsemé des blessures et des joies de l'existence, est bien plus qu'un très bon livre... Pour les lecteurs, Anne Tyler est une force vitale, pour les écrivains, elle est tout simplement la meilleure. »
The Irish Times
« Si vous voulez comprendre la vie quotidienne des Américains, lisez Anne Tyler... »
« Une exploration intelligente et touchante de l'altruisme et de ce que signifie une vie qui a du sens. »
« Délicieusement loufoque... Gracieux... Sensible... »
The Washington Post
Les recherches du docteur Battista sont sur le point d'aboutir mais une inquiétude le ronge pourtant. Car le visa de Pyotr, son assistant, expire dans quelques semaines et, sans lui, il n'y arrivera pas, il le sait. Tout est perdu, à moins d'un miracle... ou d'un mariage blanc avec Kate, sa fille aînée, justement célibataire. En désespoir de cause, il entreprend finalement de la convaincre.
Turbulente réécriture de La mégère apprivoisée de Shakespeare à l'époque contemporaine, Vinegar Girl est un festival d'intelligence et de second degré. Considérée comme l'une des plus importantes romancières américaines d'aujourd'hui, Anne Tyler surprend et ravit encore.
Micah Mortimer, la petite quarantaine routinière, coule des jours heureux dans un quartier tranquille de Baltimore. En voiture, au travail ou avec sa petite amie, il ne dévie jamais de sa route toute tracée - jusqu'au jour où il trouve Brink Adams qui l'attend sur le pas de sa porte.
Car l'adolescent fugueur en est sûr, Micah est son père biologique... Pour l'homme qui aimait ses habitudes, cette seconde chance sonne comme une malédiction.
Prix Pulitzer, finaliste du Booker Prize, Anne Tyler est une figure majeure des lettres américaines, dont le style irrésistible et piquant fait encore une fois des merveilles.
« Mon auteure préférée et la romancière la plus adroite du monde. »
« Si vous voulez comprendre la vie quotidienne des Américains, lisez Anne Tyler... »
« Pour les lecteurs, Anne Tyler est une force vitale, pour les écrivains, elle est tout simplement la meilleure. »
The Irish Times
« Elle est l'une de nos plus grandes romancières contemporaines, et si c'était à nous de décider, elle recevrait le prochain Prix Nobel. »
« Si Anne Tyler n'est pas la plus grande écrivaine au monde, qui l'est ? »
BBC Radio 4
Friday August 15th, 1997. The night the girls arrived. Two tiny Korean babies are delivered to Baltimore to two families who have no more in common than this. First there are the Donaldsons, decent Brad and homespun, tenacious Bitsy (with her 'more organic than thou' airs, who believes fervently that life can always be improved), two full sets of grandparents and a host of big-boned, confident relatives, taking delivery with characteristic American razzmatazz. Then there are the Yazdans, pretty, nervous Ziba (her family 'only one generation removed from the bazaar') and carefully assimilated Sami, with his elegant, elusive Iranian-born widowed mother Maryam, the grandmother-to-be, receiving their little bundle with wondering discretion. Every year, on the anniversary of 'Arrival Day' their two extended families celebrate together, with more and more elaborately competitive parties, as tiny, delicate Susan, wholesome, stocky Jin-ho and, later, her new little sister Xiu-Mei, take roots, become American. While Maryam, the optimistic pessimist, confident that if things go wrong - as well they may - she will manage as she has before, contrarily preserves her 'outsider' status, as if to prove that, despite her passport, she is only a guest in this bewildering country. Full of achingly hilarious moments and toe-curling misunderstandings, Digging to America is a novel with a deceptively small domestic canvas, and subtly large themes - it's abut belonging and otherness, about insiders and outsiders, pride and prejudice, young love and unexpected old love, families and the impossibility of ever getting it right, about striving for connection and goodness against all the odds. And the end catches you by the throat, ambushes your emotions when you least expect it, as only Tyler can.
From the incomparable Anne Tyler, a rich and compelling novel, spanning three generations, about a mismatched marriage - and its consequences.-Michael and Pauline seemed like the perfect couple - young, good-looking, made for each other. The moment she walked into his mother's grocery store in Baltimore, he was smitten, and in the heat of World War II fervour, they marry in haste. From the sound of the cash register in the old grocery to the counterculture jargon of the sixties, from the miniskirts to the multilayers of later years, Anne Tyler captures the nuances of everyday life with telling precision and sly humour.
Another quiet masterpiece from the author of THE ACCIDENTIAL TOURIST-a funny, poignant and unsettling novel about marriage, families and the triumph of hope over experience. On a beach holiday, 40-year-old Cordelia Grinstead walks away from her family, and just keeps walking. She re-invents herself in a new town as a serious-minded woman without ties. But gradually the messy emotions of family life catch up with her once more.
No other writer captures like Anne Tyler, with acerbic affection and compassionate clarity, the shifts and defences of the average family struggling to keep life under control. This first omnibus edition of three full-length novels, all set in the respectable Baltimore streets she has made so particularly her own, encompasses the range of eccentricities and compromises to which they are driven.
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant follows the disintegration and eventual reaffirmation of the Tull family - fierce, embittered Pearl, left by Beck to raise handsome, thrusting Cody, Jenny, the pediatrician losing herself in devotion to others, and docile Ezra, whose attempts to unite them all around a table at his eccentric Homesick Restaurant are the focus of their differences and their bond.
In The Accidental Tourist, Macon - a man of habit and routine, who writes guide books for businessmen who hate to leave home - is confronted by chaos in his own family life. Between aching sadness and glorious absurdity, Macon hesitantly emerges from his sage cocoon into the vibrant, unpredictable world of the outrageous Muriel.
And Breathing Lessons, which won the Pulitzer Prize, lays bare the anatomy of a marriage. On the round trip to a friend's funeral, Maggie and Ira Moran make detours literal and metaphorical - into the lives of grown children, old friends, total strangers and their own past - and, despite Ira's disappointments and Maggie's optimistic determination to rearrange life as she would like it to be, an old married couple fall in love all over again.
Through every family run memories which bind it together - despite everything. The Tulls of Baltimore are no exception. Abandoned by her salesman husband, Pearl is left to bring up her three children alone - Cody, a flawed devil, Ezra, a flawed saint, and Jenny, errant and passionate. Now as Pearl lies dying, stiffly encased in her pride and solitude, the past is unlocked and with it, secrets.
Barnaby Gaitlin is a loser - just short of thirty he's the black sheep of a philanthropic Baltimore family. Once upon a time he had a home, a loving wife, a little family of his own; now he has an ex-wife, a 9-year old daughter with attitude, a Corvette Sting Ray that's a collector's item but unreliable, and he works as hired muscle for Rent -a-Back, doing heavy chores for old folks. He has an almost patholo-gical curiosity about other people's lives, which has got him into serious trouble in the past, and a hopeless charm which attracts the kind of angelic woman who wants to save him from himself. Tyler's observation is more acute, more delicious than ever; her humour slyer and more irresistible; her characters so vividly realised that you feel you've known this quirky collection for ever. With perfect pitch and poise, humour and humanity, Anne Tyler chronicles, better than any writer today, the sublime and the ridiculous of everyday living, the foibles and frailties of the ordinary human heart.
When young Jamie Pike dies in a tragic accident, she leaves behind a family numbed with grief and torn with guilt and recrimination. In this compassionate and haunting novel Anne Tyler explores how each member of the family learns to face the future in their own way.
When Joe Davitch first saw Rebecca, it was at a party at the Davitch home - a crumbling nineteenth-century house in Baltimore where giving parties was the family business. Young Rebecca looked to Joe like the girl having more fun than anyone in the room and he wanted some of that happiness to spill over onto him, a 33-year-old divorcé with three little girls. Swept away, Rebecca soon found herself mistress of 'The Open Arms', embracing not only this large spirited man and his extended family but expertly hosting endless parties in the ornate, high-ceilinged rooms where people pay to have family celebrations in style. But now, years after she has lost her husband in a car accident, Beck (as she is known to the Davitch clan) asks herself whether she is an impostor in her own life. Is she really this natural-born celebrator, joyous and outgoing? Can she always be there for Poppy, her almost 100-year-old uncle-in-law who lives on the top floor, for stepdaughters - Biddy and NoNo and Patch and the husbands and fiancés, as they come and go, and their children - and for her own daughter Min Foo, pregnant again? What would have happened if she'd married her blond college sweetheart, Will, back then when they were so young and so serious and so sure about everything? Can one ever recover the person one has left behind - and would one ever like them? With perfect pitch Anne Tyler explores these unsettling questions of love and loss, of identity and family, moving with breathtaking asurance between heartbreak and hilarity, between tenderness and razor-sharp observation in a novel that we wish would never end.
Mrs. Pamela Evans lives a lonely new widowhood outside of Baltimore, with only a house full of ticking clocks for company. Then she hires eccentric Elizabeth Abbott as a handyman and both discover that parts don't have to be a perfect match to work.
"Anne Tyler is a magical writer." LOS ANGELES TIMES From the Paperback edition.
Ranging from the ragtime era to small-town America in the seventies, Searching for Caleb is a moving quest for a family's deepest roots - and a haunting story of growing up and breaking away, acceptance and rebellion.
Morgan Gower has an outsize hairy beard, an array of peculiar costumes and fantastic headwear, and a serious smoking habit. He likes to pretend to be other people - a jockey, a shipping magnate, a foreign art dealer - and he likes to do this more and more since his massive brood of daughters are all growing up, getting married and finding him embarrassing. Then comes his first dramatic encounter with Emily and Leon Meredith, and the start of an extraordinary obsession.
"Tyler is steadily raising a body of fiction of major dimensions."THE NEW YORK TIMESThirtyeightyearold Jeremy Pauling has never left home. He lives on the top floor of a Baltimore row house where he creates collages of little people snipped from wrapping paper. His elderly mother putters in the rooms below, until her death. And it is then that Jeremy is forced to take in Mary Tell and her child as boarders. Mary is unaware of how much courage it takes Jaremy to look her in the eye. For Jeremy, like one of his paper creations, is fragile and easily tornespecially when he's falling in love....From the Paperback edition.
For thirty-five year old Charlotte Emory, leaving her husband seems to offer the only way out from the mundaneness of every day life's earthly possessions and emotional complications. In the bank, she withdraws enough money to escape a life and a marriage gone sour. But Charlotte is about to escape in a way she never expected, as a young bank robber takes her hostage, and they head south for Florida in a stoelen car.
"Without Anne Tyler, American fiction would be an immeasurably bleaker place."NEWSDAYEvie Decker is a shy, slightly plump teenager, lonely and silent. But her quiet life is shattered when she hears the voice of Drumstrings Casey on the radio and becomes instantly attracted to him. She manages to meet him, bursting out of her lonely shell--and into the attentive gaze of the intangible man who becomes all too real....From the Paperback edition.
Breathing Lessons covers the events of a day in the life of Maggie Moran, nearing fifty, married to Ira and with two children. Her eternal optimism and her inexhaustible passion for sorting out other people's lives and willing them to fall in love is severely tested one hot summer day.
Maggie and Ira drive from Baltimore to Deer Lick to attend the funeral of the husband of Serena, Maggie's childhood friend. During the course of the journey, with its several unexpected detours - into the lives of old friends and grown children - Anne Tyler shows us all there is to know about a marriage: the expectations; the disappointments; the way children can create storms in a family; the way that wife and husband can fall in love all over again; the way that everything - and nothing - changes.
A novel which has been made into a film starring Kathleen Turner, Geena Davis and William Hurt. How does a man addicted to routine - a man who flosses his teeth before love-making - cope with the chaos of everyday life? Macon's attempts to do so are tragically and comically undone.
When Dorothy came back from the dead, Aaron noticed that some people simply ignored the fact; some seemed to have forgotten she'd died in the first place; and, others just walked straight on by. The accident that killed Dorothy - involving an oak tree, a sun porch and some elusive biscuits - leaves Aaron bereft and the house a wreck.
"A triumph." HARPERS Ben Joe Hawkes is a worrier. Raised by his mother, grandmother, and a flock of busy sisters, he's always felt the outsider. When he learns that one of his sisters has left her husband, he heads for home and back into the confusion of childhood memories and unforseen love....
From the Paperback edition.
Sunday Times bestseller Longlisted for the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction 'It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon...' This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she and Red fell in love that day in July 1959. The whole family on the porch, relaxed, half-listening as their mother tells the same tale they have heard so many times before.
And yet this gathering is different. Abby and Red are getting older, and decisions must be made about how best to look after them and their beloved family home. They've all come, even Denny, who can usually be relied on only to please himself.
From that porch we spool back through three generations of the Whitshanks, witnessing the events, secrets and unguarded moments that have come to define who and what they are. And while all families like to believe they are special, round that kitchen table over all those years we also see played out our own hopes and fears, rivalries and tensions - the essential nature of family life.
OVER A MILLION ANNE TYLER BOOKS SOLD
In this, her fourteenth novel--and one of her most endearing--Anne Tyler tells 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 (of "old" Baltimore) 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 (his guardian angel?) 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.
"POIGNANT . . . FUNNY . . . THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST IS ONE OF HER BEST. . . . [TYLER] HAS NEVER BEEN STRONGER." -The New York Times Macon Leary is a travel writer who hates both travel and anything out of the ordinary. He is grounded by loneliness and an unwillingness to compromise his creature comforts when he meets Muriel, a deliciously peculiar dog-obedience trainer who up-ends Macon's insular world-and thrusts him headlong into a remarkable engagement with life.
"BITTERSWEET . . . EVOCATIVE . . . It's easy to forget this is the warm lull of fiction; you half-expect to run into her characters at the dry cleaners . . . Tyler [is] a writer of great compassion." -The Boston Globe "Tyler has given us an endlessly diverting book whose strength gathers gradually to become a genuinely thrilling one." -Los Angeles Times "A DELIGHT . . . A GRACEFUL COMIC NOVEL ABOUT GETTING THROUGH LIFE." -The Wall Street Journal