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Description - The Clock Winder by Anne Tyler

By the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amateur Marriage. Having sacked her handyman, newly-widowed Mrs Emerson finds a replacement in Elizabeth, a lanky, awkward girl. The Emersons - there are seven grown-up children - have a reputation for craziness and Elizabeth finds herself drawn into their disorderly lives against her will. But in the end it is hard to tell whether she is a victim of the needy Emersons, or the de facto ruler of the family.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099469605
ISBN-10: 009946960X
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 15mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 3-Jan-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - The Clock Winder by Anne Tyler

US Kirkus Review » Miss Tyler again explores family connections in terms of compensatory stress and balances, necessary exclusions, and the loneliness of outsiders resisting absorption. Mrs. Emerson is the vortex of the Baltimore Emerson family, a widow "wearing pastels, holding out smooth white hands with polished nails," to receive her intermittently returning seven children whom she controls with charged verbiage: "Oh, everything she said nowadays was attached to other things by long gluey strands. . . touching off chords, opening doors." College drop-out Elizabeth comes into the echoing Emerson house - open, easygoing, attracted to the welter of disconnections as only an uncommitted drifter, with an urge to heal, can be. She becomes Mrs. Emerson's handyman (a chic conversation piece) and is bumblingly courted by sons Timothy and Matthew, who, like the other Emersons, are irresistibly drawn to a fixer and a patcher. But Timothy commits suicide, and Elizabeth, blaming herself, leaves for her own home where the clocks all run on time and no one needs or wants feelings which cannot be prepared ahead and frozen. Elizabeth slips away from marriage at the last minute and is on her way to some kind of freedom when the Emersons, rallied around Mrs. Emerson and her recent stroke, lure her back. Her new name becomes "Gillespie" (the result of Mrs. Emerson's impaired speech) and with relentless family pressure, including a murder attempt by an unstable son Andrew, Elizabeth's fate is sealed as ultimate handyman in a family "closed around nothing. . . all huddled up together scared to go out." Another gently insidious exposure of the adders under the veranda. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Breathing Lessons and many other bestselling novels, including The Accidental Tourist, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Saint Maybe, Ladder of Years, A Patchwork Planet, Back When We Were Grownups, The Amateur Marriage, Digging to America and The Beginner's Goodbye. In 1994 she was nominated by Roddy Doyle and Nick Hornby as 'the greatest novelist writing in English' and in 2012 she received the Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence, which recognises a lifetime's achievement in books. In 2015 A Spool of Blue Thread was a Sunday Times bestseller and shortlisted for both the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction and the Man Booker Prize. Her latest novel, Vinegar Girl, is a retelling of The Taming of the Shrew.

Books By Anne Tyler

Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
Paperback / softback, March 2017
Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
Paperback / softback, April 2016
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler
Paperback, May 2013
Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler
Paperback / softback, January 2013