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Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler

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August 2013 Guest Editor Catherine Alliott on Anne Tyler...

Anne Tyler is probably my favourite contemporary novelist. She's so good yet she never draws attention to her writing, she lets you forget it. Back When We Were Grownups is a wry and comic tale about a woman who feels herself disappearing in middle age and tries to claw back the sense of who she once was before she became consumed by her dead husband's family.

If you like Anne Tyler you might also like to read books by Zoe Heller, Katharina Hagena and A. D. Miller.


Back When We Were Grownups by 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?

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'Beautifully observed... Effortlessly brilliant' Daily Telegraph

'Like all great writers, Tyler creates her own world...she is that rare being: a writer so good that she lets you forget it. If you're one of the few who's yet to discover her, don't waste any more time: this ranks among her best' Daily Mail

'Superb... Beautifully conceived, masterfully executed... Out of the emotional confusions spawned by dislocated, dysfunctional families, Anne Tyler has produced - yet again - a scintillating comedy of manners' Sunday Telegraph

'Her touch, whether comic, wry or tragic, is as subtle as goose down... An insight bordering on genius... Tyler, of the fresh, almost conversational prose, sharp dialogue and all too much human truth, really is one of the wisest and most perceptive observers crafting fiction as life' Irish Times

'One of her very best' Mail on Sunday

About the Author

Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis in 1941 but grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She graduated at nineteen from Duke University and went on to do graduate work in Russian studies at Columbia University. This is Anne Tyler’s sixteenth novel; her eleventh, Breathing Lessons, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She is a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. She lives in Baltimore. In 2012 Anne Tyler was the winner of the Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st July 2002


Anne Tyler

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288 pages


Literary Fiction
Family Drama
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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