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In our pages: Anne Tyler's 'Noah's Compass'

January 14, 2010 |  5:44 pm

In Friday's paper, Diana Wagman reviews the new novel by Anne Tyler, "Noah's Compass." "Tyler is not flashy or tricky," she writes. "Her stories are about marriage, divorce, children, unsavory boyfriends, families of all kinds."

Her characters eat cereal, make bad clothing choices, go to ordinary jobs and are rarely famous or wealthy or particularly successful. They speak well or badly but as recognizably as a co-worker or the clerk at the grocery store. Her touch is delicate and detailed, each neighborhood corner made so concrete that we fall naturally into her world.

It might seem easy to dismiss her stories as minor domestic travails, but what theme is greater than the navigation of a human life?

"Noah's Compass" is the perfect example: a seemingly small tale of a man trying to remember one night that grows larger and larger until it encompasses the memories we have all lost.

Wagman finds Tyler's latest to be a "sad and wistful book." Read her complete review here.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Anne Tyler. Credit: Random House.