Whenever I buy a new book, I would write the date of purchase behind the back cover along with my initials — PMCJ — so that when I feel like picking it up again, I would see the date and remember all the things that would have happened from then. This practice I only started in the middle of 2014, so since I discovered Anne Tyler way before I started this, I can never know when exactly did I discover her. That must have been in February 2014. I remember sneaking out of the office to grab some fastfood and dropping by the secondhand bookstore.
At that time, I didn’t know what I wanted to read. I knew that I had grown out of fantasy novels and since I had finished all of Jane Austen’s novels, I wanted something … good. So I grabbed a copy of The Amateur Marriage and — I don’t know what pushed me (I didn’t normally do this) — read the first line of the first chapter.
Everyone in the neighborhood could tell how Michael and Pauline first met.
Because of an old college joke, I remembering thinking it would be a good idea to show it to my friends, so I left the bookstore with the book in hand. Fast forward to four years later and I now have sixteen of her twenty-two novels, and I won’t rest until they’re all complete and happy on my bookshelf.
What is it about Anne Tyler exactly? What is in her style that makes her readers long for her next novel? One critic said that reading Anne Tyler is like falling in love. I couldn’t agree more. Only, it’s the kind of love that’s familiar. The kind where you automatically have a deep and soulful connection the moment you meet that person. Is that it? Is it the soulful connection we recognize in her every single book?
I’m yet to meet a fellow Anne Tyler fan from where I live. I know there are a lot out there. To my fellow Anne Tyler fans, how are you? How has AT affected you?