Anne Tyler born 1941
Born Minneapolis, Minnesota
A prolific, fastidious observer of the everyday and a conjurer of eccentrics, Anne Tyler has written nearly twenty novels over the span of five decades, her most well-known arguably being The Accidental Tourist (1985). In a 1976 review in The New Yorker, John Updike—an author similarly dedicated to the travails of the everyman—proclaimed her writing “wickedly good.” In this illustration accompanying a review of Tyler’s The Amateur Marriage (2004), David Levine shows the writer in her typical topknot, using a magnifying glass to analyze bride and groom figurines atop a wedding cake. The magnifying glass is an apt metaphor for Tyler’s writing style: rich with minute details that allow us to inhabit the small, ordinary moments of her characters. Also alluding to her penchant for the mild-mannered, Levine shows Tyler smiling at the viewer, despite her quasi-scientific task at hand. The Pulitzer Prize–winning writer recently completed what she says is her final novel, A Spool of Blue Thread (2015).
David Levine (1926–2009)
Ink over graphite on paper, 2004