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  • Published: 30 March 2021
  • ISBN: 9781529112450
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $24.00

Redhead by the Side of the Road

From the bestselling author of A Spool of Blue Thread

A love-story gem from the bestselling author of A Spool of Blue Thread

'If Anne Tyler isn't the best writer in the world, who is?' BBC Radio 4, Woman's Hour

A perfect love story for imperfect people.

Micah Mortimer measures out his days running errands for work, maintaining an impeccable cleaning regime and going for runs (7:15, every morning). He is in a long-term relationship with his woman friend Cassia, but they live apart. His carefully calibrated life is regular, steady, balanced.

But then the order of things starts to tilt. Cassia is threatened with eviction, and when a teenager shows up at Micah's door claiming to be his son, he is confronted with another surprise he seems poorly equipped to handle.

Can Micah, a man to whom those around him always seem just out of reach, find a way back to his perfectly imperfect love story?

** BOOK OF THE YEAR Sunday Times, Daily Express, Times, Daily Telegraph, Good Housekeeping, Metro, Spectator, New Statesman**


'A book this lovely feels practically heaven-sent' Daily Mail
'Comfort reading of the best sort' Irish Times
'Tyler packs feeling and insight into every single sentence' Good Housekeeping
'Anne Tyler has the ability to take the minutiae of characters' lives and say wise things about the human condition that other writers can only dream of' Stylist
'Bursting with vitality and variety, it's a tour-de-force' Sunday Times
'I love Anne Tyler...I've read every single book she's written' Jacqueline Wilson___________

Readers LOVE this book:
'If you like a simply told tale that drips with heart and heartache and life and empathy and gentle humour then you can't go wrong with this'
'Anne Tyler excels in her grasp of the low key ordinary everyday lives of her characters and their relationships, as she demonstrates in this beautifully observed and astute novel'
'Not many authors can make everyday life so interesting and entertaining, and long may Anne Tyler continue to do so.'

  • Published: 30 March 2021
  • ISBN: 9781529112450
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $24.00

About the author

Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her bestselling novels include Breathing Lessons,The Accidental Tourist, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Ladder of Years, Back When We Were Grownups, A Patchwork Planet, The Amateur Marriage, Digging to America, A Spool of Blue Thread, Vinegar Girl and Clock Dance.

In 1989 she won the Pulitzer Prize for Breathing Lessons; in 1994 she was nominated by Roddy Doyle and Nick Hornby as 'the greatest novelist writing in English'; in 2012 she received the Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence; and in 2015 A Spool of Blue Thread was a Sunday Times bestseller and was shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction and the Man Booker Prize.

Also by Anne Tyler

See all

Praise for Redhead by the Side of the Road

Tyler's perfectly modulated, instantly enmeshing, heartrending, funny, and redemptive tale sweetly dramatizes the absurdities of flawed perception and the risks of rigidity


Painfully poignant -- thank goodness Tyler is too warmhearted an artist not to give her sad-sack hero at least the possibility of a happy ending... Suffused with feeling and very moving


Compassionate, perceptive

Publishers Weekly

Tyler rarely disappoints, but this is her best novel in some time - slender, unassuming, almost cautious in places, yet so very finely and energetically tuned, so apparently relaxed, almost flippantly so, but actually supremely sophisticated . . . Tyler's ability to make you care about her characters is amazing, and never more so than here . . . In Micah, she's created a man to puzzle and worry about, to ache and to root for

Julie Myerson, Observer

Bursting with vitality and variety, it's a tour de force . . . fizzes with the qualities - characters who almost leap off the page with authenticity, speech and body language wonderfully caught - that, for more than half a century, have won her such admiration and affection

Peter Kemp, Sunday Times

Tyler is a brilliant chronicler of human behavior because she understands that every part is something to someone . . . Yes, Micah Mortimer's life is a small one, but as this period of extended quarantine and self-isolation is proving, whose isn't? Though we have stripped our daily rituals down to their bare essentials, we remain as big and as loving and as scared and as frustratingly human as we were before the world outside screeched to a halt. Redhead By the Side of the Road is a delicate and moving reminder of this, and proves Tyler's voice remains as vital as ever

Bobby Finger, Vanity Fair

Tyler's piercing omniscience is on full, enthralling display

Bobby Finger, Vanity Fair

A fully realised world full of dry humour . . . Each character is deftly drawn in a few lines . . . Tyler notes how each of us tries to create, with rules and little self-deceptions, the fragile edifice of a tolerable life. But also that sometimes we must smash it down in order to love

Janice Turner, The Times

Tyler is a writer who compels not through the complexities of plot but by the precision of her observations, her perfect pitch in the music of unremarkable lives

Clare Clark, Guardian

An excellent portrayal - amused but oddly tender - of a beta-male in crisis

Francesca Carrington, Sunday Telegraph

One of her best . . . Her intricate domestic dramas, full of melancholic, fractured families and lives suddenly disrupted by an unexpected event or longing, have a way of worming into your head and filling it with her humane vision. She writes with finesse, compassion and empathy about the raggedness of life

Sarah Crompton, Sunday Times

Anne Tyler has the ability to take the minutiae of characters' lives and say wise things about the human condition that other writers can only dream of


If ever there was a perfect time for a new Anne Tyler novel, it's now... Heartwarming and very funny - one of Tyler's best yet

Wall Street Journal

A new book from this wonderful writer is always a joy

Joanne Finney, Good Housekeeping

Anne Tyler is magnificent as she explores how we shape our lives

Kerry Fowler, Sainsbury's Magazine

Anne Tyler injects humour into this warm, sensitive novel.and her family portraits are, as always, vibrantly drawn

Hannah Beckerman, Sunday Express

As always, Tyler is a magician, able to conjure up, in a handful of sentences, such endlessly complicated things as the comical messiness of family life . . . You finish her novels feeling closer to life, and closer to other people

Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday

A cracker. Tyler's touch is so assured you are held by every word. a pleasurable novel about intangible disappointments

Claire Allfree, Metro

A pleasure to read. It's fractured, sad, strange and beautiful at the same time - like unreal real life

Literary Review

Who doesn't love an offbeat love story? This one explores second chances, missteps and the importance of human connection. A touching celebration of the differences that make us all unique

Roisin Kelly, Sunday Times Style magazine

Almost unbearably poignant . . . a moving and perceptive story about one man's inability to connect with others and his gradual move towards greater self-fulfilment

Charlotte Heathcote, Sunday Express

The literary queen of family relationships

Sarah Gilmartin, Irish Times

Comfort reading of the best sort - emotionally intelligent, finely detailed prose that leaves you feeling richer by the end of it

Sarah Gilmartin, Irish Times

The pre-eminent novelist of normal life . . . no one can match her evocation of the moments that build up a life

Hadley Freeman, Guardian Review

Tyler has every gift a great novelist needs: intent observation, empathy and language both direct and surprising. She has unembarrassed goodness as well. In this time of snark, preening, sub-tweeting and the showy torment of characters, we could use more Tyler

Amy Bloom, New York Times

Tyler is an expert at writing about the human heart and relationships

UK Press Syndication

Tyler has succeeded once more in lifting up what so often passes unseen in our lives and celebrating it

Philippa Williams, Lady

Neatly observed, thoroughly well-meaning, sharply attuned

Private Eye

Tyler makes you feel she really understands human beings in all their self-centredness and haplessness. reading it did me as much good as a week's holiday in the sun

Jake Kerridge, Daily Express

Anne Tyler. is a remarkable writer. You might say she is like a landscape painter who keeps returning to the same scene in different weathers. her stories hold your interest and please because they are rooted in her curiosity about the way we live, feel and think. She is a masterly examiner of the unexamined life

Allan Massie, Scotsman

A book this lovely feels practically heaven-sent.. Crisp and direct, yet full of subtle touches, it's a big-hearted tale of roads not taken - a delight from start to finish

Anthony Cummins, Daily Mail

Full of insight and sympathy. It is also highly absorbing - partly because of Tyler's evocative style (when Micah considers his past, he is "visited by a kind of translucent scarf of a memory floating down upon him"), but mostly because of the intimacy with which she depicts the workings of Micah's heart and mind...a quiet revelation

Matthew Adams, Financial Times

No one alive writes with more accuracy or truth. Anne Tyler takes the reader to the very heart of a life

Cressida Connolly, Oldie, *Novel of the Month*

In wonderful prose, Tyler drills deep into a very ordinary life, familiar struggles, and a quiet heroism

David Hoyle, Church Times

Anne Tyler's masterful new novel asks what it might take for an unhappy man to change his life... her longevity means that her work has become a record of a certain kind of America, especially of "the dailiness of women's lives", for the past half century.

Benjamin Markovits, Prospect

A quiet and beautiful story about human relationships, written with intent observation, empathy and humour

Citizen Femme

A timely reminder of what matters: kindness and love

Cressida Connolly, Spectator Books of the Year

This gloriously warm novel felt heaven-sent when it appeared in deepest lockdown

Anthony Cummins, Metro, *Christmas Gift Guide 2020*

A new book from this wonderful writer is always a joy... Tyler packs feeling and insight into every single sentence

Joanne Finney, Good Housekeeping, *Books of the Year*

I adored Redhead by the Side of the Road... It is so subtle, and so brilliant as are all Tyler's novels... Witty and warm, its only fault was that I wanted it to be twice as long!

Victoria Hislop, Daily Express, *Books of the Year*

Tender and beautifully paced

Heather Martin, Daily Express, *Books of the Year*

Compassionate and alert to the complexities in even the most ordinary lives, the book reminds us why, at 79, Tyler is held in such high regard

Claire Allfree, Daily Telegraph, *Books of the Year*

The qualities that have long won Tyler admiration and affection - wry humour, shrewd perception, characters who leap off the page with authenticity - are in generous supply

Julia Durman, Sunday Times, *Books of the Year*

You can't go wrong with Anne Tyler. She makes it look easy creating characters that feel so believable, so three-dimensional

Robbie Millen, The Times, *Books of the Year*

Anne Tyler really is the best. This reads as if she wrote it in one flawless seamless sitting. The sheer brilliance of making it all seem so effortless

Graham Norton

Tyler engrosses with the 'and-thenand-then' of domestic detail

Rose Tremain

I do think the world would probably be a better place if everyone read Anne Tyler . . . She's such a brilliantly empathetic writer - there's no 'them' and 'us' in Tyler's world - and she often writes from the perspective of the kind of people who you would walk past and barely notice in the street . . . Reading Tyler helps people to become better people, and I really fully believe that

Hadley Freeman, Good Housekeeping

Tyler's irresistibly readable 23rd novel follows Micah, a socially inept, OCD-ish IT man whose orderly life is turned upside down by the arrival of a son

Daily Telegraph Books of the Year

Tyler's affectionate and quietly observant novel reveals her deep empathy for the hidden struggles of everyday lives

Jane Shilling, Daily Mail

Another shrewd yet kindly novel about the mysterious business of family life by one of the world's great writers

Reader's Digest

A charmingly offbeat love story

Mail on Sunday, *Summer Reads of 2021*

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