Synopses & Reviews
Barnaby Gaitlin has been in trouble ever since adolescence. He has this habit of breaking into other people's houses not for big loot, but simply to read their mail, pore over their photo albums, and sneak away some of their precious mementos. But for 11 years now he's been working steadily for Rent-a-Back, renting his back to old folks and shut-ins who can't move their own porch furniture. At last, his life seems to be on an even keel.
Still, the Gaitlins ("old" Baltimore) cannot forget the price they paid for buying off Barnaby's former victims. And his ex-wife sees him only as an intrusion in the life of their little girl, Opal. Even the nice, steady woman (his guardian angel?) who seems to have designs on him doesn't fully trust him, it develops, when the chips are down, and it looks as though his world may fall apart again.
There is no one like Anne Tyler, with her sharp, funny, tender perceptions about how human beings navigate in a puzzling world, and she keeps us enthralled from start to finish in this delicious new novel.
"If we believe that serious novels are about the search for a true home, then A Patchwork Planet is a novel that repays our always delighted attention." The New York Times Book Review
"What resonates throughout the novel is Tyler's gentle wisdom. Her understanding of the complexities of human nature comes across beautifully, making this book a singular treat....She endows the tale of Barnaby's eventual self-discovery and redemption with charm, quiet humor and many bittersweet observations on the meaning of emotional connectedness with those around us, the aging process and the ability we all possess to start afresh." The Miami Herald
"Recalls Tyler's early works, such as Celestial Navigation and Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, which...are peopled by genuine eccentrics whose grip on the world is charmingly, but definitely, precarious....Anne Tyler lovingly captures that world." The Cleveland Plain Dealer
About the Author
Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis in 1941 but grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She graduated at nineteen from Duke University, and went on to do graduate work in Russian studies at Columbia University. Her eleventh novel, Breathing Lessons, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She is also the author of If Morning Ever Comes, The Tin Can Tree, A Slipping-Down Life, The Clock Winder, Celestial Navigation, Searching for Caleb, Earthly Possessions, Morgan's Passing, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, The Accidental Tourist, Saint Maybe, and Ladder of Years. Tyler is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Baltimore.