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VJ Books Presents Author Anne Tyler!

Author Anne Tyler Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but grew up in North Carolina, as the eldest of four children of Lloyd Parry Tyler, an industrial chemist, and Phyllis Mahon Tyler, a social worker. Before settling in Raleigh, North Carolina, the family lived among various Quaker communities in the rural south. These years formed background for Tyler's Southern literary flavor, which is seen in the settings of her fiction. The Tylers moved several times in their search for an ideal place to raise their children. In 1948, when Anne was six, the Tyler family found the Celo Community, near Burnsville, in the mountains of North Carolina. The community operated on a shared labor basis. At Celo the Tylers lived in their own house, raised some stock, and used organic farming techniques. The children in the settlement received lessons in art, carpentry, and cooking. Anne attended also a small local public school at Harvard. According to a story, whenever the school's principal had to take a short leave to look after his cows, Anne was put in charge.

By the age of seven Anne had started to write stories. Most of these early writings concerned "lucky, lucky girls who got to go west in covered wagons." Her favorite book was The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. Later she has said that the book showed her "how the world worked, how the years flowed by and people altered and nothing could ever stay the same." She graduated at age nineteen from Duke University, and completed graduate work in Russian studies at Columbia University in New York City. Before settling in Baltimore, her home town for much of her adult life, Tyler was a bibliographer at Duke University, ordering books from the Soviet Union, and worked in the law library of McGill University. Tyler married in 1963 the Iranian-born child psychiatrist Taghi Modarressi; they had two daughters. Her husband died in 1997.

Her eleventh novel, Breathing Lessons, received the Pulitzer Prize in 1989. The Accidental Tourist was awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1985 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1986 and was made into a 1988 movie starring William Hurt and Geena Davis. Tyler's ninth novel, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, which she considers her best work, was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1983. She has edited three anthologies: The Best American Short Stories 1983, Best of the South, and Best of the South: The Best of the Second Decade. She is noteworthy among contemporary best selling novelists, for she does not grant face-to-face interviews and rarely does book tours, nor does she make many other public appearances, although she has made herself available through email interviews.

Tyler's 18th novel, Noah's Compass (January 2010), tells of a 60-year-old man who finds again his joy of living after losing his job and being attacked in his apartment.

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