Digging to America Author:Anne Tyler In what is perhaps her richest and most deeply searching novel, Anne Tyler gives us a story about what it is to be an American, and about Maryam Yazdan, who after thirty-five years in this country must finally come to terms with her 'outsiderness.' — Two families, who would otherwise never have come together, meet by chance at the Baltimo... more »re airport-the Donaldsons, a very American couple, and the Yazdans, Maryam's fully assimilated son and his attractive Iranian-American wife. Each couple is awaiting the arrival of an adopted infant daughter from Korea. After the babies from distant Asia are delivered, Bitsy Donaldson impulsively invites the Yazdans to celebrate with an 'arrival party,' an event that is repeated every year as the two families become more deeply intertwined.
Even independent-minded Maryam is drawn in. But only up to a point. When she finds herself being courted by one of the Donaldson clan, a good-hearted man of her vintage, recently widowed and still recovering from his wife's death, suddenly all the values she cherishes-her traditions, her privacy, her otherness-are threatened. Somehow this big American takes up so much space that the orderly boundaries of her life feel invaded.
A luminous novel brimming with subtle, funny, and tender observations that cast a penetrating light on the American way as seen from two perspectives, those who are born here and those who are still struggling to fit in.« less
I usually enjoy a good book about clashing cultures and complex human relationships, but this book just didn't do much for me at all. I was annoyed by the cultural stereotypes and frustrated by the lack of focus on any one particular character. I had to force myself to finish, not a very satisfying read.
Masterfully written tale of what it means to be American -- the author really gets into the heads of her characters and we feel their joy, pain, & anxiety. Parents who have adopted children, especially from foreign nations, will relate particularly well, as will anyone who has emigrated from another nation to live in the U.S. A surprisingly fast read.
As a person who was adopted from Korea as an infant, I eagerly anticipated this book. Unfortunately, I did not find much to relate to. The adopted Korean daughters were the only well-adjusted characters. The story instead focused on their parents and grandparents, who I found to be irritating and unlikeable. I have not read any of Anne Tyler's books, but if they are all like this one I will give them a pass!
While this is not my favorite book by Tyler, it still retained her wonderful signature style. The vivid portrait she paints of both American families and immigrant-American families will keep you interested.
Thoughtful and well-written tale about two families thrown together by coincidence when they each adopt a Korean baby and the children arrive on the same plane. One family is so ultra-American yuppie that at times you want to smack them upside the head; the other is Irani-American, and their basic differences in outlook interact in ways Tyler draws with empathy and skill.
This is an excellent work, much better than I thought it would be. Handles relations between individuals and families of from different cultures well. Especially pertinent during these times of great tension between Western and Middle Eastern ideologies.