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  • Published: 15 April 2020
  • ISBN: 9781784743482
  • Imprint: Chatto & Windus
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $35.00

Redhead by the Side of the Road

Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2020

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

From the bestselling author of A Spool of Blue Thread: an offbeat love story about mis-steps, second chances and the elusive art of human connection

Micah Mortimer isn’t the most polished person you’ll ever meet. His numerous sisters and in-laws regard him oddly but very fondly, but he has his ways and means of navigating the world. He measures out his days running errands for work – his TECH HERMIT sign cheerily displayed on the roof of his car – maintaining an impeccable cleaning regime and going for runs (7:15, every morning). He is content with the steady balance of his life.

But then the order of things starts to tilt. His woman friend Cassia (he refuses to call anyone in her late thirties a ‘girlfriend’) tells him she’s facing eviction because of a cat. And when a teenager shows up at Micah’s door claiming to be his son, Micah is confronted with another surprise he seems poorly equipped to handle.

Redhead by the Side of the Road is an intimate look into the heart and mind of a man who sometimes finds those around him just out of reach – and a love story about the differences that make us all unique.

  • Published: 15 April 2020
  • ISBN: 9781784743482
  • Imprint: Chatto & Windus
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $35.00

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

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Praise for Redhead by the Side of the Road

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

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

Compassionate, perceptive

Publishers Weekly

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

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

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

Francesca Carrington, Sunday Telegraph

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

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

Anne Tyler may…prove to be one of the most influential novelist of her generation… Her books are so irresistibly readable that it’s startling to realise what technical marvels they often are… What is so moving about Tyler’s work is that, always, we have the illusion that we’re hearing what her people feel like saying, and no more than that

Philip Hensher, Daily Telgraph

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

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

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

A warm-hearted story… another excellent portrayal… there’s a quiet charm to Tyler’s book

Francesca Carington, Sunday Telegraph, *Novel of the Week*

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


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

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

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

A touching celebration of the differences that make us all unique

Sunday Times

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… Anne Tyler gives the mundane its beautiful due

Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday

A new book from this wonderful writer is always a joy

Joanne Finney, Good Housekeeping

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


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

The literary queen of family relationships

Sarah Gilmartin, Irish 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

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. Her genius is to capture, among the humdrum, those secret moments of regret or revelation by which people define themselves… in these pages, hiding in plain sight, there’s an interrogation of everything that matters

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

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