Thursday, November 26, 2009

Great book Guru I

Dear Great Book Guru, Do you have a favorite author and if so a particular work to recommend? Looking for the Best of the Best

Dear Looking, How can I answer this? It is like asking a mother to pick her favorite child. Favorite restaurant-easy: Nizza in NYC; favorite opera: Mozart's Marriage of Figaro; favorite spot in the world: SeaCliff, NY, but a favorite author- impossible! However I do have many writers whose works I love and Anne Tyler is one of these. She has written 17 novels over 30 years and a new one is coming out next month. Her novels are similar in that they feature quirky, loveable families dealing with crisis and change over an extended period of time. Her latest novel Digging to America(2006) is about two very different families who share a common experience- the adoption of daughters from Korea. The Donadsons, a boisterous Baltimore family, and the Yazdams, whose reserved matriarch Maryam came to America from Iran 35 years and still feels very much the outsider, form an ongoing friendship which we come to observe in much detail as the girls grow and celebrate the milestones of childhood. The families follow radically different parenting styles with the Donalsons choosing a Korean name, clothing and language classes for their daughter while the Yazdans name their daughter Susan and envelop her in American culture. The title comes from the attempts of both families to find meaning or "roots" in their lives. I have loved all of Tyler's novels and would recommend any of them.

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