Digging to America by Anne Tyler

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BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Anne Tyler's The Beginner's Goodbye.

Anne Tyler’s richest, most deeply searching novel–a story about what it is to be an American, and about Iranian-born Maryam Yazdan, who, after 35 years in this country, must finally come to terms with her “outsiderness.”

Two families, who would otherwise never have come together, meet by chance at the Baltimore airport – the Donaldsons, a very American couple, and the Yazdans, Maryam’s fully assimilated son and his attractive Iranian wife. Each couple is awaiting the arrival of an adopted infant daughter from Korea. After the instant babies from distant Asia are delivered, Bitsy Donaldson impulsively invites the Yazdans to celebrate: an “arrival party” that from then on is repeated every year as the two families become more and more deeply intertwined. Even Maryam is drawn in – up to a point. When she finds herself being courted by Bitsy Donaldson’s recently widowed father, all the values she cherishes – her traditions, her privacy, her otherness–are suddenly threatened.

A luminous novel brimming with subtle, funny, and tender observations that immerse us in the challenges of both sides of the American story.

About Anne Tyler

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Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. This is her eighteenth novel. Her eleventh, Breathing Lessons, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
Published May 2, 2006 by Ballantine Books. 338 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, History, Travel. Non-fiction
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Unrated Critic Reviews for Digging to America

Kirkus Reviews

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She examines the insecurities underneath Bitsy’s overbearing manner, American-born Sami’s amused condescension toward both his natal home and the land of his ancestors and a host of other complex aspects of her well-developed characters, including Ziba’s nouveau-riche parents and Bitsy’s easygoin...

Mar 01 2006 | Read Full Review of Digging to America

The Guardian

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Even at a busy social occasion like an arrival party, she polices her own gestures - '"Well, of course," Maryam said, and she set her cup back in her saucer without a sound.' That missing chink is the keynote of a magnificent piece of character-drawing.

May 06 2006 | Read Full Review of Digging to America

The Guardian

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Digging to America by Anne Tyler 277pp, Chatto & Windus, £16.99.

May 19 2006 | Read Full Review of Digging to America

BC Books

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Digging Into America by Anne Tyler is a thoroughly enjoyable read that eventually takes the reader nowhere.

Aug 07 2008 | Read Full Review of Digging to America

Book Reporter

The joy of reading an Anne Tyler novel comes from meeting real.

Dec 29 2010 | Read Full Review of Digging to America

Entertainment Weekly

In her 17th novel, Anne Tyler trains her writerly eye on two very different American families: the Donaldsons and the Yazdans, who meet at the airport the day their adopted daughters arrive from Korea.

May 10 2006 | Read Full Review of Digging to America

Suite 101

A modern version of Sense and Sensibility recreated in two Austen fans, sisters, who head to Bath and find themselves, love and one another.

Aug 25 2007 | Read Full Review of Digging to America

About.com Bestsellers

Tyler is an exquisite writer who draws you into the Digging to America, making it a very worthwhile read.ProsDigging to America is an engaging story.The characters are well developed and likeable.Interesting insights into Iranian-American cultureConsDigging does not resolve as neatly as some migh...

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Bookmarks Magazine

Tara Gallagher Washington Post 4 of 5 Stars "[Tyler’s] success at portraying culture clash and the complex longings and resentments of those new to America confirms what we knew, or should have known, all along: There’s nothing small about Tyler’s world, nothing precious about her attention ...

Aug 29 2007 | Read Full Review of Digging to America

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Monte Parker

Monte Parker 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list