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No one does family like Anne Tyler does family. Are the Battistas her most appealing yet?
Anne Tyler is the author of twenty bestselling novels. Her most recent, A Spool of Blue Thread, was a Sunday Times bestseller and shortlisted for both the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction and the Man Booker Prize. She has won the Pulitzer Prize and the Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence, which recognises a lifetime's achievement in books, as well as being nominated by Roddy Doyle and Nick Hornby as 'the greatest novelist writing in English'. Vinegar Girl sees Anne Tyler going behind the scenes of one of Shakespeare's most controversial yet enduring (Kiss Me Kate, 10 Things I Hate About You) plays- 'You know how sometimes a friend will tell you something that happened to her, and you think wait, there must be more to it than that, I'm sure there's another side to this. Well, that's how I've always felt about The Taming of the Shrew.'
"It's knockabout comedy at its best, genuinely laugh-out-loud funny and, indeed, may be her funniest book to date" -- John Harding Daily Mail "The worst wedding in history ... vintage Anne Tyler" -- Ann Treneman The Times "It's every subtle shade of funny, heart-breaking and ultimately life-affirming" Grazia "Funny, thought-provoking, essential" The Sunday Telegraph (Stella) "Delightful, ingenious and convincing... Anyone who values good writing and the intelligent observation and depiction of how people feel, think and speak will enjoy it too" -- Allan Massie Scotsman "There is much of Tyler's trademark wit and sharp observation here. She shifts effortlessly from humour to pathos and creates emotion without any hint of sentimentality ... Funny and poignant" -- Charlotte Heathcote Sunday Express "Full of Tyler's signature virtues -- domestic details, familial conflict, emotional ambivalence, a sharp sense of place... Novels such as Anne Tyler's, which are so precise and current, are like photographs or digital clock faces that tell us where we are and where we are coming from at the same time. Vinegar Girl is an earthy reflection of this fleeting moment, both lively and thoughtful" -- Jane Smiley New York Times Book Review "Tyler's signature skill as a novelist is portraying her characters and her setting with such precise and amusing detail ... that pretty soon the reader is drawn in, willy-nilly. We know where this is heading, yet she does a great job putting up the roadblocks and incorporating the surprising curves... Novels such as Anne Tyler's, which are so precise and current, are like photographs or digital clock faces that tell us where we are and where we are coming from at the same time. 'Vinegar Girl' is an earthy reflection of this fleeting moment, both lively and thoughtful." -- Jane Smiley New York Times Book Review "Tyler's deepest purpose is to challenge the premisses of Shakspeare's comedy... Her gentle, funny novel insists that it is possible, in spite of our customarily blind perversities, to find unexpected ways of breaking free from self-destruction" -- Dinah Birch Times Literary Supplement "This sparky, intelligent spin on Shakespeare's controversial classic demolishes the old saw that you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar" -- Elizabeth Lowry The Guardian "Family drama meets rom-com in a modern version of The Taming of the Shrew. Pushy dad plus entitled little sister, cute but clueless suitor, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author equals must-read" Cosmopolitan "The terrifically talented author is the latest to tackle Shakespeare for the Hogarth series ... In her modern take on The Taming of the Shrew, Kate is a university drop-out whose scientist dad is pushing her to marry his lab assistant so he can stay in the country. But will this bright, independent woman sacrifice herself? Like the original, the heroine is pleasingly acerbic and her happy ending is anything but conventional" Good Housekeeping "Fabulous... Tyler has fun exploring how far a modern woman would go for the sake of daughterly duty" Saga Magazine "A reflective, engaging twist on Shakespeare's unfashionable play" -- Vanessa Berridge Daily Express "[A] screwball comedy of manners that actually channels Jane Austen more than Shakespeare. It's clear that [Tyler] had fun with Vinegar Girl, and readers will too... A fizzy cocktail of a romantic comedy, far more sweet than acidic, about finding a mate who appreciates you for your idiosyncratic, principled self - no taming necessary" NPR.org "Beautiful, off-beat love story...I became enraptured by their seemingly little lives. It's every subtle shade of funny, heart-breaking and ultimately life-affirming... Gentle, heart-warming tale" -- Lisa Howard, Emily Phillips, Jenny Croall Grazia "Vinegar Girl is an absorbing read from the very first page, where the characters immediately come to life" -- Daisy Watt I "Hilarious contemporary take on the play." -- Frankie McCoy Evening Standard "Enjoy this wry, wise, hilarious take on the relations between men and women, and Tyler's loving feminism untinged with bitterness" -- Jane O'Grady The Oldie "Fun, accomplished, readable, enjoyable" -- Viv Groskop The Guardian