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Anne Tyler’s record of America

Her work, in spite of all the prizes, has sometimes been accused of cuteness or sentimentality—but her artful play with symbols suggests something more complex than that

Anne Tyler has built a remarkably successful and steady career across almost six decades without having to adapt too much the narrative strategies that eventually produced her literary breakthrough in the early 1980s. If she’s had a late flowering (her novel A Spool of Blue Thread was shortlisted for the Booker in 2015—more than 30 years after…

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