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Jeremy is a child-like, painfully shy batchelor who has never left home. He lives on the third floor of his mother's boarding house and spends his days cutting up coloured paper to make mosaic sculptures - until the day his mother dies and the beautiful Mary Tell arrives to turn his world upside down. From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amateur Marriage and Digging to America.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099480112
ISBN-10: 0099480115
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 18mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 1-Feb-1996
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


US Kirkus Review » Miss Tyler's family webs which vibrate with the slightest whisper usually take place in crumbling frame houses, all with that faint sweet odor of failure, roaches and dusty vestibules. Such as the Baltimore boarding house owned by the recently deceased Mrs. Pauling and her artist son, 38 year-old Jeremy, a recluse. Cocoon-raised Jeremy is in that soft, vulnerable, pupal stage of arrest where, oddly enough, one may be a very good artist. He makes pictures, declares Miss Vinton, a crusty spinster boarder, "the way other men make maps - setting down the few fixed points that he knows (to) guide him. . . through this unfamiliar planet." Among the other roomers is Mary Tell, with her child, runaway from a young marriage and skittish lover, penniless and lonesome. She is then abruptly receptive to a marriage arrangement (her husband refuses divorce) with Jeremy. "Something new" is the uniting hope for both which leads Jeremy to a fresh and stable dependence, Mary to happy child-bearing. But "they might have been taking two separate rides." Mary's woman's world is entire and complete but Jeremy still navigates by invisible stars. Mary leaves and finally Jeremy makes his one heroic try at doing what he believes fathers and husbands are supposed to do (repair houses, take children on outings). But, rejected, he returns to his house and old age, with Miss Vinton, the other "clay duck." Miss Tyler has trouble with Jeremy - he represents more than he is which is rather a dodo. But her decaying hermitages still stimulate and entrap. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Anne Tyler

Born in Minneapolis in 1941, Anne Tyler lives in Baltimore where her novels are set. She is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Breathing Lessons and other bestselling novels, including The Accidental Tourist, Saint Maybe, Back When We Were Grownups, The Amateur Marriage, Digging to America and Noah's Compass. She has recently received the Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence, which recognises a lifetime's achievement in books.

Books By Author Anne Tyler

Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

Vinegar Girl

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Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

A Spool of Blue Thread

Paperback / softback, April 2016
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler

Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant

Paperback, May 2013
Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler

The Beginner's Goodbye

Paperback / softback, January 2013