Books

Anne Tyler: Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Ladder of Years & The Amateur Marriage

Anne Tyler (and others)

Captivating BBC radio adaptations of three of Anne Tyler’s bestselling novels

Award-winning author Anne Tyler is loved worldwide for her fiction exploring the intricacies of marriage and domesticity. These three acclaimed books, each set in Baltimore, describe the small triumphs and tragedies of everyday American family life, as relationships are made and broken, and families come together, drift apart, hurt and heal each other.

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant (Tracks 1 and 2)
Abandoned by her salesman husband, Pearl Tull attempts to keep her family together – but her anger and fierce maternal energy has damaging effects on her three children.

Ladder of Years (Tracks 3 and 4)
An unexpected romantic encounter in the grocery aisle is the beginning of a new adventure for homely Delia Grinstead, leading her to make a sudden, impulsive change in her life.

The Amateur Marriage (Tracks 5 and 6)
We follow the turbulent relationship of Michael and Pauline Anton over sixty years, from their whirlwind romance in 1941, to marriage, parenthood and beyond.

Multi-layered and universal, with details that ring sharply true and characters that are both recognisable and entertaining, these three dramatisations feature a distinguished cast including Barbara Barnes, Lorelei King and Nathan Osgood.

Dramatised by Rebecca Lenkiewicz
Produced and directed by David Hunter

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant
Pearl...Barbara Barnes
Narrator...Lorelei King
Beck...Nathan Osgood
Young Cody...Max Baldry
Young Ezra...Richard Linnell
Young Jenny/Jane...Eloise Webb
Cody...Ben Crowe
Ezra...Simon Lee Phillips
Jenny...Fenella Woolgar
Josiah...Matthew Watson
Harley...David Seddon
Mrs Payson/Mrs Scarlatti...Joanna Brookes
Ruth...Amaka Okafor
Slevin...Will Howard
Joe/Driver...David Seddon
Priest/Driver/Dr Vincent...Paul Stonehouse
Teacher/Driver...Philippa Stanton
Mr Murphy...Sean Murray

The Ladder of Years
Delia...Nancy Crane
Adrian...Ian Conningham
Sam...Nathan Osgood
Eliza...Jessica Turner
Narrator/Woman...Barbara Barnes
Rosemary/Debbie/Mother/Binky...Rhiannon Neads
Skipper...David Acton
Carroll/Clerk...Sam Valentine
Driscoll/Ramsay/Vernon/Assistant...Mark Edel-Hunt
Susie...Roslyn Hill
Mr Maxwell/Nat...David Hounslow
Linda/Belle...Jane Slavin
Eliza...Jessica Turner
Eleanor...Carol MacReady
Mr Pomfret....Stephen Critchlow
Noah...Sean McCrystal
Joel...Sam Dale
Rick Rack/Telephone Voice...Jude Akuwudike

The Amateur Marriage
Pauline/Young Pauline...Julianna Jennings
Michael/George/Pagan...Tom Forrister
Narrator...Barbara Barnes
Mrs Anton...Pandora Colin
Wanda/Lindy/Gina...Sarah Ridgeway
Mrs Brunek/Mrs Serge/Mrs Barclay/Donna/Marilyn...Sanchia McCormack
Katie/Karen...Maeve Bluebell Wells
Mrs Golka/Destiny/Karen...Chetna Pandya
Mrs Kowalski/Anna/Katie...Georgie Glen
Officer/Policeman...John Bowler
John Piazy/Alex/Policeman/Becoming....Finlay Robertson
Eustace/Dun...David Sterne
Lindy...Kayla Gal
George/Pagan...Finn Monteath
Michael...Ian Porter
Cabbie...Nicholas Murchie
Pauline...Sara Stewart
Pagan...Noel Brooke
George...David Sturzaker
Lindy...Jane Slavin
Pauline...Sara Stewart

Clock Dance

Anne Tyler

** The Sunday Times bestseller **
** BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime **

A bittersweet novel of family and self-discovery from the Sunday Times bestselling, award-winning author of A Spool of Blue Thread

Willa Drake can count on one hand the defining moments of her life: when she was eleven and her mother disappeared, being proposed to at twenty-one, the accident that would make her a widow at forty-one. At each of these moments, Willa ended up on a path laid out for her by others.

So when she receives a phone call telling her that her son’s ex-girlfriend has been shot and needs her help, she drops everything and flies across the country. The spur-of-the moment decision to look after this woman – and her nine-year-old daughter, and her dog – will lead Willa into uncharted territory. Surrounded by new and surprising neighbours, she is plunged into the rituals that make a community, and takes pleasure in the most unexpected things.

A bittersweet novel of hope and regret, fulfilment and renewal, Clock Dance brings us the everyday life of a woman who decides it’s never too late to change direction, and choose your own path.

'She is and always will be my favourite author' Liane Moriarty

Half-truths and Semi-miracles

Anne Tyler

Susanna has an incredible gift: she can heal ailments with just the touch of her hand. People travel from far and wide based on their faith in her abilities. But Susanna’s power only works in certain cases -- it’s a semi-miracle. And as she grows into a woman, and tries to build a life of her own, her calling to fix and cure becomes more of a burden than a blessing. Why is she able to take people’s pain away sometimes, and not others? And not when she needs to most of all? With the balm of time, and the wisdom of experience, Susanna must learn to live with the mysterious nature of her miracle.

Available to readers for the first time since its initial publication, this is a wry and moving story by an American master.

Vinegar Girl

Anne Tyler

The hilarious new novel from the bestselling author of A Spool of Blue Thread

'A thoroughly modern love story' Guardian, Books of the Year


Kate Battista is stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and infuriating younger sister Bunny?

Dr Battista has other problems. His brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. And without Pyotr, his new scientific breakthrough will fall through…

When Dr Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he’s relying – as usual – on Kate to help him. Will Kate be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to win her round?

Anne Tyler’s brilliant retelling of The Taming of the Shrew asks whether a thoroughly modern woman like Kate would ever sacrifice herself for a man. The answer is as surprising as Kate herself.

A Spool of Blue Thread

Anne Tyler

THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER

SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2015

SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN'S FICTION PRIZE

A RICHARD AND JUDY BOOK CLUB PICK

‘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 summer’s day in 1959. The whole family on the porch, half-listening as their mother tells the same tale they have heard so many times before.

From that porch we spool back through the generations, witnessing the events, secrets and unguarded moments that have come to define the family. From Red’s father and mother, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to Abby and Red’s grandchildren carrying the family legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century – four generations of Whitshanks, their lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn Baltimore house that has always been their home…

'One of my favourite authors' Liane Moriarty

'She spins gold' Elizabeth Buchan

'Anne Tyler has no peer' Anita Shreve

'Anne Tyler is one of my favourite writers and this is a delicious book' Rachel Joyce

Dinner At The Homesick Restaurant

Anne Tyler

WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY THE AUTHOR

When Pearl Tull’s husband, Beck, abandons her she pours her energies into preserving normality. Only gradually do her three children realise their father is gone for good. Now, as Pearl lies on her deathbed, the impact of Beck’s abrupt departure unspools: on Cody who can’t overcome his anger, on mild Ezra who must always keep the peace, and on bright, errant Jenny. And so the secrets, memories and anguish of the Tull family begin to surface.

The Beginner's Goodbye

Anne Tyler

When Dorothy came back from the dead, it seemed to Aaron that some people simply didn’t notice.

The accident that killed Dorothy – involving an oak tree, a sun porch and some elusive biscuits – leaves Aaron bereft and the house a wreck. As those around him fuss and flap and bring him casserole after casserole, Aaron ploughs on. But then Dorothy starts to materialise in the oddest places. At first, she only comes for a short while, leaving Aaron longing for more. Gradually she stays for longer, and as they talk, they also bicker and the cracks that were present in their perfectly ordinary marriage start to reappear...

‘One of my favourite authors’ Liane Moriarty, author of Big Little Lies

‘My favourite writer, and the best line-and-length novelist in the world’ Nick Hornby

Anne Tyler Omnibus

Anne Tyler

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.

Noah's Compass

Anne Tyler

Liam Pennywell has spent most of his life dodging issues and skirting adventure when suddenly, in his sixty-first year, something happens that jolts him out of his certainty and leaves him with a frightening gap in his memory.

In trying to piece together what took place on his first night in a new apartment, Liam finds instead an unusual woman with secrets of her own, and a late-flowering love that brings its own set of thorny problems...

OVER A MILLION ANNE TYLER BOOKS SOLD

‘She’s changed my perception on life’ Anna Chancellor

‘One of my favourite authors ’ Liane Moriarty

‘She spins gold' Elizabeth Buchan

‘Anne Tyler has no peer’ Anita Shreve

‘My favourite writer, and the best line-and-length novelist in the world’ Nick Hornby

‘A masterly author’ Sebastian Faulks

‘Tyler is not merely good, she is wickedly good’ John Updike

‘I love Anne Tyler’ Anita Brookner

‘Her fiction has strength of vision, originality, freshness, unconquerable humour’ Eudora Welty

Digging to America

Anne Tyler

SHORTLISTED FOR THE ORANGE PRIZE

Friday August 15th, 1997. Two tiny Korean babies are delivered to two very different Baltimore families. Every year, on the anniversary of ‘Arrival Day’ the two families celebrate together, with more and more elaborately competitive parties, as little Susan and Jin-ho take roots and become American.

OVER A MILLION ANNE TYLER BOOKS SOLD

‘She’s changed my perception on life’ Anna Chancellor

‘One of my favourite authors ’ Liane Moriarty

‘She spins gold' Elizabeth Buchan

‘Anne Tyler has no peer’ Anita Shreve

‘My favourite writer, and the best line-and-length novelist in the world’ Nick Hornby

‘A masterly author’ Sebastian Faulks

‘Tyler is not merely good, she is wickedly good’ John Updike

‘I love Anne Tyler’ Anita Brookner

‘Her fiction has strength of vision, originality, freshness, unconquerable humour’ Eudora Welty

The Amateur Marriage

Anne Tyler

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 counter-culture jargon of the sixties, from the miniskirts to the multilayers of later years, we watch their lives unspool and see the consequences of their very mismatched marriage.

OVER A MILLION ANNE TYLER BOOKS SOLD

‘She’s changed my perception on life’ Anna Chancellor

‘One of my favourite authors ’ Liane Moriarty

‘She spins gold' Elizabeth Buchan

‘Anne Tyler has no peer’ Anita Shreve

‘My favourite writer, and the best line-and-length novelist in the world’ Nick Hornby

‘A masterly author’ Sebastian Faulks

‘Tyler is not merely good, she is wickedly good’ John Updike

‘I love Anne Tyler’ Anita Brookner

‘Her fiction has strength of vision, originality, freshness, unconquerable humour’ Eudora Welty

Back When We Were Grown-ups

Anne Tyler

One morning, Rebecca wakes up and realises she has turned into the wrong person. Is she really this joyous and outgoing organiser of parties, the put-upon heart of her dead husband's extended family? What happened to her quiet and serious nineteen-year-old self, and what would have happened if she'd married her college sweetheart? Can someone ever recover the person they've left behind?

OVER A MILLION ANNE TYLER BOOKS SOLD

‘She’s changed my perception on life’ Anna Chancellor

‘One of my favourite authors ’ Liane Moriarty

‘She spins gold' Elizabeth Buchan

‘Anne Tyler has no peer’ Anita Shreve

‘My favourite writer, and the best line-and-length novelist in the world’ Nick Hornby

‘A masterly author’ Sebastian Faulks

‘Tyler is not merely good, she is wickedly good’ John Updike

‘I love Anne Tyler’ Anita Brookner

‘Her fiction has strength of vision, originality, freshness, unconquerable humour’ Eudora Welty

A Patchwork Planet

Anne Tyler

Barnaby Gaitlin has less in life than he once had. His ex-wife Natalie left him and their native Baltimore several years ago, taking their baby daughter Opal with her. He acquired an unalterably fixed position as the black sheep of the family. And this family isn't one where black sheep are tolerated. The Gaitlins are rich and worthy, supposedly guided by their own special angel to do the right thing...

OVER A MILLION ANNE TYLER BOOKS SOLD

‘She’s changed my perception on life’ Anna Chancellor

‘One of my favourite authors ’ Liane Moriarty

‘She spins gold' Elizabeth Buchan

‘Anne Tyler has no peer’ Anita Shreve

‘My favourite writer, and the best line-and-length novelist in the world’ Nick Hornby

‘A masterly author’ Sebastian Faulks

‘Tyler is not merely good, she is wickedly good’ John Updike

‘I love Anne Tyler’ Anita Brookner

‘Her fiction has strength of vision, originality, freshness, unconquerable humour’ Eudora Welty

Earthly Possessions

Anne Tyler

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 stolen car.

OVER A MILLION ANNE TYLER BOOKS SOLD

‘She’s changed my perception on life’ Anna Chancellor

‘One of my favourite authors ’ Liane Moriarty

‘She spins gold' Elizabeth Buchan

‘Anne Tyler has no peer’ Anita Shreve

‘My favourite writer, and the best line-and-length novelist in the world’ Nick Hornby

‘A masterly author’ Sebastian Faulks

‘Tyler is not merely good, she is wickedly good’ John Updike

‘I love Anne Tyler’ Anita Brookner

‘Her fiction has strength of vision, originality, freshness, unconquerable humour’ Eudora Welty

Searching For Caleb

Anne Tyler

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.

OVER A MILLION ANNE TYLER BOOKS SOLD

‘She’s changed my perception on life’ Anna Chancellor

‘One of my favourite authors ’ Liane Moriarty

‘She spins gold' Elizabeth Buchan

‘Anne Tyler has no peer’ Anita Shreve

‘My favourite writer, and the best line-and-length novelist in the world’ Nick Hornby

‘A masterly author’ Sebastian Faulks

‘Tyler is not merely good, she is wickedly good’ John Updike

‘I love Anne Tyler’ Anita Brookner

‘Her fiction has strength of vision, originality, freshness, unconquerable humour’ Eudora Welty

Celestial Navigation

Anne Tyler

Jeremy is a child-like, painfully shy batchelor who has never left home. He lives on the third floor of his mother's boarding house and spends his days cutting up coloured paper to make mosaic sculptures - until the day his mother dies and the beautiful Mary Tell arrives to turn his world upside down.

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amateur Marriage and Digging to America.

OVER A MILLION ANNE TYLER BOOKS SOLD

‘She’s changed my perception on life’ Anna Chancellor

‘One of my favourite authors ’ Liane Moriarty

‘She spins gold' Elizabeth Buchan

‘Anne Tyler has no peer’ Anita Shreve

‘My favourite writer, and the best line-and-length novelist in the world’ Nick Hornby

‘A masterly author’ Sebastian Faulks

‘Tyler is not merely good, she is wickedly good’ John Updike

‘I love Anne Tyler’ Anita Brookner

‘Her fiction has strength of vision, originality, freshness, unconquerable humour’ Eudora Welty

Ladder Of Years

Anne Tyler

One warm summer’s day at the beach, forty-year-old Cordelia Grinstead, dressed only in a swimsuit and beach robe, walks away from her family and just keeps on going.

After hitching a ride with a stranger to a new town where she knows no one, she reinvents herself as a single woman with no ties and begins living a new life altogether. But how long can she keep this up before her real life finds her?

OVER A MILLION ANNE TYLER BOOKS SOLD

‘She’s changed my perception on life’ Anna Chancellor

‘One of my favourite authors ’ Liane Moriarty

‘She spins gold' Elizabeth Buchan

‘Anne Tyler has no peer’ Anita Shreve

‘My favourite writer, and the best line-and-length novelist in the world’ Nick Hornby

‘A masterly author’ Sebastian Faulks

‘Tyler is not merely good, she is wickedly good’ John Updike

‘I love Anne Tyler’ Anita Brookner

‘Her fiction has strength of vision, originality, freshness, unconquerable humour’ Eudora Welty

The Accidental Tourist

Anne Tyler

How does a man addicted to routine - a man who flosses his teeth before love-making - cope with the chaos of everyday life? With the loss of his son, the departure of his wife and the arrival of Muriel, a dog trainer from the Meow-Bow dog clinic, Macon's attempts at ordinary life are tragically and comically undone.

OVER A MILLION ANNE TYLER BOOKS SOLD

‘She’s changed my perception on life’ Anna Chancellor

‘One of my favourite authors ’ Liane Moriarty

‘She spins gold' Elizabeth Buchan

‘Anne Tyler has no peer’ Anita Shreve

‘My favourite writer, and the best line-and-length novelist in the world’ Nick Hornby

‘A masterly author’ Sebastian Faulks

‘Tyler is not merely good, she is wickedly good’ John Updike

‘I love Anne Tyler’ Anita Brookner

‘Her fiction has strength of vision, originality, freshness, unconquerable humour’ Eudora Welty

Saint Maybe

Anne Tyler

When eighteen-year-old Ian Bedloe pricks the bubble of his family's optimistic self-deception, his brother Danny drives into a wall, his sister-in-law falls apart, and his parents age before his eyes. Consumed by guilt Ian finds the hope of forgiveness at the Church of the Second Chance, and leaves college to cope with the three children he has inherited and his own embarrassing religion.

Twenty years on, Ian's prospects of a second chance are receding fast when, out of the heart of the domesticity that has engulfed him, strides a new figure who will bring him new life.

OVER A MILLION ANNE TYLER BOOKS SOLD

‘She’s changed my perception on life’ Anna Chancellor

‘One of my favourite authors ’ Liane Moriarty

‘She spins gold' Elizabeth Buchan

‘Anne Tyler has no peer’ Anita Shreve

‘My favourite writer, and the best line-and-length novelist in the world’ Nick Hornby

‘A masterly author’ Sebastian Faulks

‘Tyler is not merely good, she is wickedly good’ John Updike

‘I love Anne Tyler’ Anita Brookner

‘Her fiction has strength of vision, originality, freshness, unconquerable humour’ Eudora Welty

Breathing Lessons

Anne Tyler

Meet Maggie Moran. Nearing fifty and married with two children, she and her husband drive from Baltimore to Deer Lick to attend the funeral of a friend one hot summer day.

During the course of the journey, with its several unexpected detours into the lives of old friends and grown children, Maggie’s eternal optimism and her inexhaustible passion for sorting out other people’s lives and willing them to fall in love is severely tested…

OVER A MILLION ANNE TYLER BOOKS SOLD

‘She’s changed my perception on life’ Anna Chancellor

‘One of my favourite authors ’ Liane Moriarty

‘She spins gold' Elizabeth Buchan

‘Anne Tyler has no peer’ Anita Shreve

‘My favourite writer, and the best line-and-length novelist in the world’ Nick Hornby

‘A masterly author’ Sebastian Faulks

‘Tyler is not merely good, she is wickedly good’ John Updike

‘I love Anne Tyler’ Anita Brookner

‘Her fiction has strength of vision, originality, freshness, unconquerable humour’ Eudora Welty

Anne Tyler

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Anne Tyler has written more than 20 books, including Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant and The Accidental Tourist.

Biography

Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her bestselling novels include Breathing Lessons, The Accidental Tourist, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Ladder of Years, Back When We Were Grownups, A Patchwork Planet, The Amateur Marriage, Digging to America, A Spool of Blue Thread and Vinegar Girl.

In 1989 she won the Pulitzer Prize for Breathing Lessons; in 1994 she was nominated by Roddy Doyle and Nick Hornby as 'the greatest novelist writing in English'; in 2012 she received the Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence; and in 2015 A Spool of Blue Thread was a Sunday Times bestseller and was shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction and the Man Booker Prize.