'If Anne Tyler isn't the best writer in the world, who is?' BBC Radio 4, Woman's Hour
A perfect love story for imperfect people.
Micah Mortimer measures out his days running errands for work, maintaining an impeccable cleaning regime and going for runs (7:15, every morning). He is in a long-term relationship with his woman friend Cassia, but they live apart. His carefully calibrated life is regular, steady, balanced.
But then the order of things starts to tilt. Cassia is threatened with eviction, and when a teenager shows up at Micah's door claiming to be his son, he is confronted with another surprise he seems poorly equipped to handle.
Can Micah, a man to whom those around him always seem just out of reach, find a way back to his perfectly imperfect love story?
** BOOK OF THE YEAR Sunday Times, Daily Express, Times, Daily Telegraph, Good Housekeeping, Metro, Spectator, New Statesman**
** LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2020**
PRAISE FOR REDHEAD BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD:
'A book this lovely feels practically heaven-sent' Daily Mail
'Comfort reading of the best sort' Irish Times
'Tyler packs feeling and insight into every single sentence' Good Housekeeping
'Anne Tyler has the ability to take the minutiae of characters' lives and say wise things about the human condition that other writers can only dream of' Stylist
'Bursting with vitality and variety, it's a tour-de-force' Sunday Times
'I love Anne Tyler...I've read every single book she's written' Jacqueline Wilson
Readers LOVE this book:
'If you like a simply told tale that drips with heart and heartache and life and empathy and gentle humour then you can't go wrong with this'
'Anne Tyler excels in her grasp of the low key ordinary everyday lives of her characters and their relationships, as she demonstrates in this beautifully observed and astute novel'
'Not many authors can make everyday life so interesting and entertaining, and long may Anne Tyler continue to do so.'
Bursting with vitality and variety, it's a tour de force . . . fizzes with the qualities – characters who almost leap off the page with authenticity, speech and body language wonderfully caught – that, for more than half a century, have won her such admiration and affection
As always, Tyler is a magician, able to conjure up, in a handful of sentences, such endlessly complicated things as the comical messiness of family life . . . You finish her novels feeling closer to life, and closer to other people
Almost unbearably poignant . . . a moving and perceptive story about one man’s inability to connect with others and his gradual move towards greater self-fulfilment
Anne Tyler has the ability to take the minutiae of characters’ lives and say wise things about the human condition that other writers can only dream of
Tyler has every gift a great novelist needs: intent observation, empathy and language both direct and surprising. She has unembarrassed goodness as well. In this time of snark, preening, sub-tweeting and the showy torment of characters, we could use more Tyler
A book this lovely feels practically heaven-sent…. Crisp and direct, yet full of subtle touches, it’s a big-hearted tale of roads not taken — a delight from start to finish
Tyler rarely disappoints, but this is her best novel in some time – slender, unassuming, almost cautious in places, yet so very finely and energetically tuned, so apparently relaxed, almost flippantly so, but actually supremely sophisticated . . . Tyler’s ability to make you care about her characters is amazing, and never more so than here . . . In Micah, she’s created a man to puzzle and worry about, to ache and to root for
Tyler is a brilliant chronicler of human behavior because she understands that every part is something to someone . . . Yes, Micah Mortimer’s life is a small one, but as this period of extended quarantine and self-isolation is proving, whose isn’t? Though we have stripped our daily rituals down to their bare essentials, we remain as big and as loving and as scared and as frustratingly human as we were before the world outside screeched to a halt. Redhead By the Side of the Road is a delicate and moving reminder of this, and proves Tyler’s voice remains as vital as ever
Tyler is a writer who compels not through the complexities of plot but by the precision of her observations, her perfect pitch in the music of unremarkable lives
A fully realised world full of dry humour . . . Each character is deftly drawn in a few lines . . . Tyler notes how each of us tries to create, with rules and little self-deceptions, the fragile edifice of a tolerable life. But also that sometimes we must smash it down in order to love
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Redhead by the Side of the Road and Burnt Sugar are among the 13 novels vying for the world's most prestigious literary award.