ChicagoNow is encouraging a blog post about an imaginary encounter with an author whose work has influenced mine and to have a drink with her. This is pretty cool because I have long yearned to sit down with Anne Tyler, have some lunch and profess my love for her and her writing without fear of a stalking charge. I bring you, A Seat at the Bar, with Anne Tyler - a completely imaginary luncheon conversation.
I am so happy and excited to be having lunch with you. I love your books, I just love them. So many of them speak to me and have throughout my life.
Me - I know you've only given, what 3 interviews, yes?
Me - Oh, that's true. (laughs nervously.) I read that you don't like to give interviews because then it's hard to maintain the illusion that no one will read it and the Writing Elf stays away for a while after an interview. I guess I can understand that. So is it true that you were raised in a somewhat isolated Quaker community in Minnesota and read Little Women 22 times?
I just have to tell you how much The Accidental Tourist meant to me. I was teaching French at the time and mourning the loss of my baby boy. The character was a travel writer, visiting Paris and grieving for his son. Your novel helped me talk about my own experience. I have long wanted to thank you.
I have read all of your books, multiple times, and Digging for America also touched me. I have a daughter adopted from Korea and so many of the feelings and experiences rang true for me. I have other scenes in my head from your books that I revisit, the alphabetizing of the canned goods and the thank you notes in Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant.
Your characters seem so real and I just live inside their world for a while, it's really quite wonderful.
No, thank YOU. I just have one tiny request. Your book Patchwork Planet should have resonated with me even more as I am a quilter yet the sewing and quilting didn't ring true. If you do another book with a sewing slant, can I help make those scenes more true?
Back to reality with just me writing. I didn't dare do much talking for Anne here as she seems to speak only through her novels. I have longed to tell her how much I love her writing for quite a while so this is really a love letter to her more than anything. Her characters don't swear or do drugs, they are ordinary people sometimes facing the very extraordinary challenges of every day life. Anne Tyler has helped me through my life by letting me escape it a bit and lead one of a regular person in Baltimore.
Thanks Anne, your writing has made me Sew happy!
Want to read the actual last interview she gave? Click here.
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Check out other stories in this series here.