Anne Tyler

Presented November 22, 2016 by Anne Tingle

Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1941. Her parents, a social worker mother and an industrial chemist father, were Quakers. They lived in various Quaker communities until Anne was 7, when they moved to a Quaker commune in the mountains of North Carolina. Anne was 11 when they moved to Raleigh, North Carolina. She graduated from high school at age 16 and enrolled in Duke University where she took a degree in Russian Literature. At 19 she embarked on a master’s degree in Slavic Studies at Columbia University.

Back at Duke, Anne worked in the university library as a bibliographer in Russian Studies. She married Taghi Modarressi, an Iranian novelist and psychologist. They moved to Baltimore and had two daughters. Her husband passed away in 1997.

Tyler is the author of 21 novels, two children’s books and many uncollected short stories and articles. Six of her books have been adapted to screen, five are made for TV movies and one is a well-received big screen movie, The Accidental Tourist.

Anne is considered a domestic novelist in the tradition of Jane Austen and Eudora Welty. Her novel are character driven and her plots are “small.” Anne Tyler once said. “I’m scared of the very idea of a ‘message’ in a novel. All I ever want to do is to tell a story.”