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~~ Anne Tyler Lord
As an author, I’m also stuck doing a ton of promotion. Something I know Anne Tyler didn’t have to deal with back in the ‘80’s when publishers still did it for their writers. So this means that I spend valuable writing time doing things like setting up book signings, and creating and running workshops, and making conference appearances, and contacting press. How many hours do I spend a week doing this? If I have a busy promotion schedule, sometimes an entire week can be eaten up this way, and that’s not counting the full-days I might spend traveling to and being at the events.
As a University of Pennsylvania student with a job in the library, I’d volunteer to go in search of “lost volumes.” Then I’d get lost in the stacks myself, browsing through fiction. A friend passed me a novel. In the poorly lit gloom, I opened the cover to Searching for Caleb, enjoyed that wondrous whiff of gluey dusty bookness, and sank into the words. At that very moment, Anne Tyler became one of my favorite authors.
Before her with Lisa Allardice of The Guardian, Anne Tyler hadn’t given a face-to-face interview for almost 40 years. The interview coincides with the release of her 19th novel, The Beginner’s Goodbye, an acutely observed account of one man’s journey through grief, from the numbness of first days to his gradual reconnection to life and those around him, and in the process his growing self-understanding.