In what is perhaps her richest and most deeply searching novel, Anne Tyler gives us a story about what it is to be an American, and about Maryam Yazdan, who after
Thirty-five years in this country must finally come to terms with her "outsiderness."
Two families, who would otherwise never have come together, meet by chance at the Baltimore airport—the Donaldsons, a very American couple, and the Yazdans, Maryam's fully assimilated son and his attractive Iranian American wife. Each couple is awaiting the arrival of an adopted infant daughter from Korea. After the babies from distant Asia are delivered, Bitsy Donaldson impulsively invites the Yazdans to celebrate with an "arrival party," an event that is repeated every year as the two families become more deeply intertwined.
Even independent-minded Maryam is drawn in. But only up to a point. When she finds herself being courted by one of the Donaldson clan, a good-hearted man of her vintage, recently widowed and still recovering from his wife's death, suddenly all the values she cherishes—her traditions, her privacy, her otherness—are threatened. Somehow this big American takes up so much space that the orderly boundaries of her life feel invaded.
A luminous novel brimming with subtle, funny, and tender observations that cast a penetrating light on the American way as seen from two perspectives, those who are born here and those who are still struggling to fit in.
Click the Download button to download a copy of the MARC file.
Enter your FTP details below to send the MARC export file via FTP.
by Anne Tyler
"Anne Tyler illuminates what it means to be an American. Two families, the Yazdans, originally of Iran, and the Donaldsons, of Baltimore, have each adopted a girl child from Korea. When the babies arrive on the same plane, the families' lives become intertwined. Blair Brown does a stellar job with the accents of the Yazdan clan, changing the intonations with each generation and with the time each character has been in the country. She is sensitive to the cultural subtleties of language and custom, modulating her voice to allow for brashness or modesty. Tyler's simple plot is enriched by details of family life and food, and even more so by Brown's clever narration. B.H.B. (c) AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine"
Sign up for our email newsletter