Need a holiday handknit? Time for a Schmatta!

Tyler Speaks!

annetyler.jpg
Dear Kay,
Just wanted to share yesterday’s NPR interview with one of my favorite writers, Anne Tyler. (My friend Joe sent this along–at this point, Joe functions as an oracle, because he will send me a link that dovetails with something I’m thinking about. It’s downright eerie.)
Anne Tyler writes novels set in Baltimore. She has been doing this for almost fifty years. She is a publicist’s nightmare–or dream, I guess, if a publicist is looking for less work to do–because she doesn’t do publicity. This NPR interview is maybe the first she’s given in about 35 years, she says. I’ve always wondered what she sounds like, and now I know: she sounds quiet, and kind.
Her seventeenth novel, The Beginner’s Goodbye, will be out next week. The main character runs a self-publishing company! There’s no way Anne Tyler knows what is involved with self-publishing, having been elegantly published by Knopf for decades. (I guarantee you she hasn’t ever bought an ISBN. She doesn’t know what she’s missing.) I’m looking forward to her new book despite the fact that she is clearly branching out into unknown, exotic territory. In Baltimore, of course.
Sometimes I catch myself thinking that I need to be flailing around doing more to get the word out about my book. I could dress up like a hushpuppy on West End Avenue during rush hour. I could slide onto the ice at a Predators game wearing a BOWLING AVENUE T-shirt. At these moments, I need to remember: Anne Tyler doesn’t do that.
So maddening! Would it kill her to throw out a Tweet?
Love,
Ann

29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. I have read and enjoyed Ann Tyler’s books for years. She seems to be Baltimore’s version of Emily Dickinson….quiet and reclusive, but brilliantly talented.

  2. I love Ann Tyler, too! And, I love your new book! And, I’ll wear a tee-shirt! And, I can’t believe your books are in alpha order by author!

  3. I loved The Beginner’s Goodbye – it’s low-key, understated, bittersweet, sharp and subtle … all the things Anne Tyler does so well. She’s in Britain this weekend to accept an award and to talk about the book, and I wish I could go and hear her, but as I can’t thanks so much for the link to the NPR interview, and best of luck with your book!

  4. I listened to the interview while driving to work yesterday. I thought she sounded kind as well. I liked her idea of making her last novel about a family and work backward in time so that if she died in the middle of writing it, no one would no any better. I have to say, I didn’t love The Accidental Tourist though. Maybe I read it when I was too young to appreciate it.

  5. So is Ladder of Years your favorite? (I noticed you have multiple copies, almost as many as I have of One True Thing by Anna Quindlen)

  6. I love Anne Tyler and have for years. And I am looking forward to reading Ann Shayne when it comes out!

  7. “I could slide onto the ice at a Predators game wearing a BOWLING AVENUE T-shirt.” Love the idea of this performance art/promotion piece!

  8. Thanks for sharing this — I caught the end of this interview yesterday and hadn’t yet gone online to find it.
    I wrote Anne Tyler a fan letter after I read Digging to America — and received a gracious reply.
    One of my favorites too!

  9. ABsolutely love her. Good thing she got her book out before yours and wasn’t lost in the riptide of your publicity tour. I’m thinking Bowling Avenue flashmob at the next Big and Rich concert.

  10. And I believe Anne Tyler went to Duke. Like me. Except I have never written or published,(self or otherwise) a book.

  11. Give me until school is out and I will stand on the corner of Bowling and West End and pass out sample chapters.
    Or, any given Sunday I will pass out samples at Costco in a little hat and apron.
    Or, I will dress as a giant ball of yarn and pass out samples at the LYS. (But I will only be cotton or linen…I have standards.)

  12. If Freda can set the standard, I can meet it! Give me publicity work to do. I will do it.
    For sure, I will do an Amazon review. And tweet. And have fun imagining your runaway success.
    So pleased for you, dear Ann. You are the writer Ann for me.

  13. Thanks for the NPR link. I too love Anne Tyler. The first book of hers I read was Ladder of Years and I liked it a lot. From those more familiar with her writing, I was told how ‘sub-par’ it was. After reading many more of her books, and enjoying them all, I look back on Ladder of Years and still like it!

  14. I would pay admission to see you on the ice at a Predators game! Are you thinking of joining a belly flop contest? (Though the floppers usually wear a black plastic garbage bag for extra slipperiness so you’d need duct tape letters.) Or were you just gonna walk-slip out there between periods? Maybe you could sweet talk the Zamboni driver into letting you do a ride-along. If you can’t get on the ice at a Predators game and you’re willing to travel, my daughter drives the Zam at her local rink in Colorado and could probably be persuaded to give you a ride (or wear a Bowling Ave T herself, she’s a knitter too). She considers it a major step up from the usual part-time college jobs like flipping burgers or selling T-shirts. :)

  15. I love Anne Tyler too. We are happy to host a book party for you here in America’s Hometown (and some knitting shops too).

  16. Anne Tyler has always been a favorite of mine. Can’t wait for the new one. And so very good to hear her voice. :-)

  17. As a former independent bookstore clerk may I suggest having book reviewed on Goodreads. Also having a book become a book club book is really a great way to build word of mouth. So including book club questions or having online book club questions downloadable would work too. There used to be a company that was a resource for book clubs. Sadly I cannot recall their name. And of course doing talks at whatever local independent bookstores still exist.

  18. As a former independent bookstore clerk may I suggest having book reviewed on Goodreads. Also having a book become a book club book is really a great way to build word of mouth. So including book club questions or having online book club questions downloadable would work too. There used to be a company that was a resource for book clubs. Sadly I cannot recall their name. And of course doing talks at whatever local independent bookstores still exist.

  19. I want a Bowling Avenue T-shirt! I could wear it around Doha, and ….umm…. not increase your readership by much.
    I will tell all the knitters (who are also readers) about it, though. But first you have to tell us how to purchase it, okay?

  20. LOVE Ann Tyler and loved the interview…that is how I feel reading her books…wanting to stay in the middle. Also love your blog and books…am knitting log cabin blanket for my grandson now!
    I know we don’t have to ask for reminder when your books is available…what else would a blog be good for?

  21. Thank you for this post. I so enjoyed listening to Anne Tyler’s interview. I am a long time fan.
    I am looking forward to her new book.
    Thanks, too for your delightful blog.
    Judi

  22. I’m more interested in reading Bowling Avenue than The Beginner’s Goodbye. Where can I find BA? Would you pretty please put a link to wherever that is on this website? Am I missing something obvious about where to find it already on the website? Is me rather than you? Also, will you be putting it out in e-book form (if you saw the rooms and rooms of books I need to weed out before I can retire and move away in 8 years, you would know why I ask. I am not anti Real Books or Real Bookstores in any way, I swear!).
    Seriously, I am not a nut case. I’d just love to buy a copy and read your book, Ann.
    PS: I’m totally using Good Reads to find new books to read at the moment, btw. So I second the comment from Barbara before me.

  23. Now don’t all you Ann Tyler fans holler, but I’ve never read her. I tried to read Accidental Tourist years ago but couldn’t get into it. Now that I am a more mature reader I need some direction. Which title should I start with?

  24. I actually like the Predator game idea – especially during a playoff game. But instead of sliding onto the ice, why don’t you just come down from the rafters like Gnash does? That would get their attention!!! Go Preds! And Go Self-Published Authors!

  25. I think your book will do fine without you wearing tshirts and sliding on the ice. Remember, our community is huge and full of readers. We will spread the word to the non-knitting world.

  26. How does one go about buying the book? Will it be in Parnassas? Or available in e-book form from Amazon?

  27. I’ve always loved Anne Tyler. I’ve also always thought I was too young to love her and her stories. However, it feels like a peek into the future for me. Truth is, I just love her.

  28. I’ve always loved Anne Tyler. I’ve also always thought I was too young to love her and her stories. However, it feels like a peek into the future for me. Truth is, I just love her.

  29. Thank you for the interview link. I enjoyed listening to it being a big Anne Tyler fan.