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Author Study: Anne Tyler Curated by Grace Wei '17

The LibGuide is for the contemporary author Anne Tyler.

Alienation and Loneliness

The society is increasingly separated from knowing how to create meaningful connections with each other.

In my opinion, this is the most common theme in Anne Tyler’s novels since all of her novels have at least one character experiencing the feeling of isolation.

For example, in Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, several characters have shown feelings of alienation and loneliness. The mother of the family, Pearl Tull, takes a terrible toll on her children because of the sense of isolation she has felt from the departure of her husband. She is both physically and mentally abusive towards her children. Consequently, the Tull children deal with loneliness and rejection, especially Cody, the eldest child of the family. The members of the family often misinterpret what each other’s intentions, then leads to avoidable conflicts.

“No, perhaps he viewed each dinner as a unit in itself, unconnected to the others. Maybe he never linked them in his mind.”                                                 – Cody Tull

“There was a stiff-backed little quarrel. Conversation fell apart. Cody walked out. So technically, even that meal could not be considered finished. Why did Ezra go on trying?”        - Pearl Tull