The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler

It’s been a while since I read a piece of fiction, or much of anything to tell the truth. My reading seems to come in spurts. I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately and I started reading a book on writing called The Weekend Novelist which uses The Accidental Tourist for its examples, so I got it from the library. Well, I really enjoyed it.

The other Anne Tyler I’ve read in the past is Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant and my recollection of that is that it was well-written but depressing. This one seemed more hopeful, almost a book of redemption. Specifically you’re watching the lead character, Macon, emerge from the box he’s lived his life in. I’ve been working on getting out of my box too.

We all tend to define ourselves–I never do this, I always do that, I’m no good at such and such–as though these are physical absolutes, unchangeable laws of nature. But that’s an illusion. Macon finds himself walking out of his box without effort, finding that he doesn’t have to always this or never that. His character is more fluid than he’d ever believed. And I’ve been finding the same. All we have to do to change is stop labeling ourselves and say yes where we’ve always said no.

So I’m glad that The Accidental Tourist was placed in my line of sight and I’m glad that I said yes to it. Now back to the writing.

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