The Beginner's Goodbye

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The Beginner's Goodbye

Format:  Hardcover,

197 pages

Publisher: Random House Inc

Publish Date: Apr 2012

ISBN-13: 9780307957276

ISBN-10: 0307957276

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Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.
Anne Tyler gives us a wise, haunting, and deeply moving new novel in which she explores how a middle-aged man, ripped apart by the death of his wife, is gradually restored by her frequent appearances--in their house, on the roadway, in the market.
Crippled in his right arm and leg, Aaron spent his childhood fending off a sister who wants to manage him. So when he meets Dorothy, a plain, outspoken, self-dependent young woman, she is like a breath of fresh air. Unhesitatingly he marries her, and they have a relatively happy, unremarkable marriage. But when a tree crashes into their house and Dorothy is killed, Aaron feels as though he has been erased forever. Only Dorothy's unexpected appearances from the dead help him to live in the moment and to find some peace.
Gradually he discovers, as he works in the family's vanity-publishing business, turning out titles that presume to guide beginners through the trials of life, that maybe for this beginner there is a way of saying goodbye.
A beautiful, subtle exploration of loss and recovery, pierced throughout with Anne Tyler's humor, wisdom, and always penetrating look at human foibles.

Specifications

Author:
Publisher: Random House Inc
Publish Date: Apr 2012
ISBN-13: 9780307957276
ISBN-10: 0307957276
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 197
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 0.7
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 5.9 x 1.0 x 8.5
Walmart No.: 9780307957276

About the author

Biography of Tyler, Anne

Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on October 25, 1941. She graduated from Duke University at the age of 19 and completed graduate work in Russian studies at Columbia University. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a librarian and bibliographer. Her first novel, If Morning Ever Comes, was published in 1964. Her other works include Saint Maybe, Back When We Were Grownups, Digging to America, Noah's Compass and The Beginner's Goodbye. She has won several awards including the PEN Faulkner Award in 1983 for Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, the 1985 National Book Critics Circle Award for The Accidental Tourist, and the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Breathing Lessons. The Accidental Tourist was adapted into a 1988 movie starring William Hurt and Geena Davis.

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (2012-04-01)

Although crippled in his right arm and leg, Aaron has spent much of his life fending off his family's attempts to protect him from the world. A successful editor of a vanity press in Baltimore that publishes a series of beginner's guides to various subjects, Aaron one day finds himself falling in love with Dr. Dorothy Rosales, whom he has approached about helping to write The Beginner's Cancer. They soon end up married, but catastrophe strikes when a tree falls on their house and kills Dorothy.

Unable to live in his house any longer because of memories and roof damage, Aaron goes to live with his sister. He moves through loss, despair, helplessness, and emotional paralysis until one day Dorothy appears to him in the street. Struggling with the meaning of her appearances, Aaron eventually comes to accept them as her way of both saying good-bye and helping him get over her death.

Verdict: As always, Pulitzer Prize winner Tyler brilliantly explores a stunning range of human emotion, poignantly considering the challenges of death while creating lovable characters whose foibles capture our hearts. Essential reading.

[See Prepub Alert, 9/30/11.] - Henry L. Carrigan Jr., Evanston, IL

(c). Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Library Journal (2012-09-15)

In Tyler's latest work, publisher Aaron Woolcott has led a painful life. He suffers from a crippled right arm and leg, a speech impediment, and a domineering sister. Now, an accident takes the life of his wife, Dorothy, an independent woman who provided him with much-needed joy and balance. An overwhelmed Aaron attempts to start over despite interference from his sister and coworkers. Dorothy's ghost appears to help him through these trials and to try to find peace in his new life.

Verdict: This quiet, reflective work touches thoughtfully on issues of loss and recovery. Reader Kirby Heyborne does an excellent job. Recommended to all Tyler fans and listeners who enjoy intelligent, low-key stories.

- Stephen L. Hupp, West Virginia Univ. Parkersburg Lib.

(c). Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book description

Pulitzer Prize–winning author Anne Tyler gives us a wise, haunting, and deeply moving new novel about loss and recovery, pierced throughout with her humor, wisdom, and always penetrating look at human foibles.

Crippled in his right arm and leg, Aaron grew up fending off a sister who constantly wanted to manage him. So when he meets Dorothy, an outspoken, independent young woman, she’s like a breath of fresh air. He marries her without hesitation, and they have a relatively happy, unremarkable marriage. Aaron works at his family’s vanity-publishing business, turning out titles that presume to guide beginners through the trials of life. But when a tree crashes into their house and Dorothy is killed, Aaron feels as though he has been erased forever. Only Dorothy’s unexpected appearances from the dead—in their house, on the roadway, in the market—help him to live in the moment and to find some peace. Gradually, Aaron discovers that maybe for this beginner there is indeed a way to say goodbye.

“Like a modern Jane Austen, Tyler creates small worlds [depicting] the intimate bonds of friendship and family.”— USA Today

“An absolute charmer of a novel... With sparkling prose... [Anne] Tyler gets at the beating heart of what it means to lose someone, to say goodbye.”— The Boston Globe

“Classic Tyler... The wonder of Anne Tyler is how consistently clear-eyed and truthful she remains about the nature of families and especially marriage.”— Los Angeles Times

“Beautifully intricate... By the exquisitely romantic emotional climax [an] ordinary life has bloomed into an opera.”— Entertainment Weekly

Don’t miss the conversation between Anne Tyler and Robb Forman Dew at the back of the book.

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