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Digging to America: A Novel


Digging to America: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9780307263940
ISBN10: 0307263940
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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lrhawkins, December 29, 2006 (view all comments by lrhawkins)
This book touches on so many emotional life changes. I have seen the words culture clashes to describe it, but it refers not only to the clash of cultures between Americans and those recently arrived, but also to the culture differences between the generations. I loved how the Anne Tyler takes us into the feelings and motivations of each character and then how those same characters are percieved by others. Unfortunately we all tend to react based on our perceptions of others, and not who they truly are.
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(17 of 26 readers found this comment helpful)
arwhitlock, December 5, 2006 (view all comments by arwhitlock)
I like how Anne Tyler subtly describes her characters while building up to the "why" of her novel. I like how she mixed Korean, Chinese, Iranian to describe America. It is human to have preconceived notions about another group of people. I think the specialness of America and Tyler's book is that she confronts these notions and how Americans have to deal with it and in the end WE wind up having these end results, like Maryam and Dave falling in love.
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(5 of 11 readers found this comment helpful)
MaleReader, October 30, 2006 (view all comments by MaleReader)
The book has received many great reviews, most of them suggesting that it defines what it means to be an American. That is misleading. It defines what it means to be an American woman who lives in the East. The male characters are satellites who revolve around the women. Traditional American male activies---sports, outdoor activities, etc.---are totally omitted. Instead the book is replete with descriptions of clothing, mothering, and relationships. The kids go to ballet school, art camp, and endless private schools, and the women are forever planning parties--foreign behaviors to rural Midwesterners. "Digging to America" is a dyed-in-the-wool eastern "girly book."
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(17 of 28 readers found this comment helpful)
michellevt34, September 18, 2006 (view all comments by michellevt34)
Anne Tyler is always one of my favorite authors, but I so enjoyed the added cultural depth provided by the topics of both adoption, of Korean and Chinese girls, as well as a look into the life of an Iranian family. The American and Iranian families become friends just by meeting at the airport to pick up the first babies they adopted, and the differences in the way these two families raise the children reveals a lot about how differently those born here and those who are from other cultures and places perceive American life. I highly recommend this title; it is filled with funny and tender details observed through the eyes of many different kinds of people.
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(11 of 16 readers found this comment helpful)
deboltkaren, August 10, 2006 (view all comments by deboltkaren)
As an adoptive parent of a foreign born child I found this book especially interesting - in fact I had difficulty putting it down and finished it in a record 3 days. I have enjoyed other novels by Anne Tyler but this one was especially interesting as it delved into some of the cultural aspects of the Iranian family and it seemed like the author really understood how it feels to be an adoptive parent.
I would highly recommend it to others and especially to people considering adoption. I intend to buy this book to keep (my copy was borrowed).
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(11 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

Tyler, Anne
Intercountry adoption
Publication Date:
May 2006
Grade Level:
9.54x6.64x1.04 in. 1.29 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

Digging to America: A Novel Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.50 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Alfred A. Knopf - English 9780307263940 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Anne Tyler put her skilled pen to paper and wrote a powerful novel of America's melting pot. Brought together by international adoptions, two family's lives intertwine and illuminate America's cultural spectrum and all its universalities of human nature. Funny, touching, highly recommended.

"Review A Day" by , "With her 17th novel, Tyler has delivered something startlingly fresh while retaining everything we love about her work. Digging to America delivers the blithely insular, suburban Baltimore characters we expect, but it's a bait-and-switch move....Her 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 to the hopes and fears of ordinary people." (read the entire Washington Post Book World review)
"Review A Day" by , "[S]tupendously wise and very funny....Digging to America succeeds on many levels — as a satire of millennial parenting, a tribute to autumn romances, and, most important, an exploration of our risible (though poignant) attempts to welcome otherness into our midst." (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)
"Review" by , "The veteran novelist extends her range without losing her essence....Vintage Tyler, with enough fresh, new touches to earn her the next generation of fans."
"Review" by , "Tyler creates many blissful moments of high emotion and keen humor while broaching hard truths about cultural differences, communication breakdowns, and family configurations. This deeply human tale of valiantly improvised lives is one of Tyler's best."
"Review" by , "At a time when discussions of immigration and citizenship have become increasingly fraught, Tyler's Digging to America offers tranquil insight by telling one immigration story and telling it well."
"Review" by , "[A] compelling novel. Anyone can tell a story, but few writers allow us to identify with their 'just folks' characters, and, like Tyler, let us revel in the day-to-day, often repetitive activities that are at the heart of being a family member and a friend."
"Review" by , "Digging to America is studded with lovely observations....Tyler has cast her abiding theme — the art of surviving among shifting, challenging circumstances — in a story more anchored in a specific time than any previous work."
"Review" by , "A touching, well-crafted tale of friendship, families, and what it means to be an American. Recommended."
"Review" by , "Ms. Tyler deserves her reputation as a master of the fine threads of human relationships. The barely registered slights, fleeting intuitions and shivers of pity that pass between these characters are a pleasure to behold."
"Review" by , "If you plan to soak up a few rays while reading [Digging to America], liberally apply the sunscreen before you start the 277-page book. Otherwise, you might find yourself caught up in her 17th novel and not want to stop to slather up again."
"Review" by , "Once again, this wise and warm-hearted author delves beneath the surface of ordinary Americans to find that there are no ordinary Americans."
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