By Dale Salwak
Essays talk about each one of Tyler's novels and consider her topics, type, plots, and characters.
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Extra info for Anne Tyler as Novelist
Here the theme of Ben Joe's isolation from his family is first treated. As the only male in a family of women, Ben Joe is something of an alien in his home. He is also a worrier by nature, a young man trying desperately to be understood and to understand himself and his family, to register his perception of the world on some consciousness other than his own. The title of the story suggests precisely the nature of the Hawkes women. As Ellen Hawkes, Ben Joe's mother, comments to a long-distance operator, "Go ahead, nobody in this family answers.
In art class, Ehrlich did not try to change Tyler's style, but let her student alone, and Tyler produced "some wonderful things," paintings she was reluctant for Ehrlich to show anyone. " Ehrlich regrets that she has none of Tyler's paintings, but a Broughton colleague who taught chemistry "has two pieces of Anne's" that she bought at one of the art shows. Ehrlich says that Tyler's paintings were "very distinctive'' and generally depicted people rather than landscapes or specific scenes in nature.
Then the snapshot was taken away. Everything there is to know about time was revealed in that snapshot, and I can almost name it, I very nearly have it in my grasp . . but then it's gone again, and all that's left is a ragged green book with the binding fallen apart" (Tyler's ellipsis). 18 She may have been very young, Tyler says, but that was a moment when she acquired wisdom. "19 She had told her two daughters for years that the implausibilities in plot and the repeated mistakes that the heroes made in fairy tales had insulted her even when she was very young.