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A collection of quotes by Anne Tyler on writing, inspiration, love, advice, life, self-discovery, luck, sensibility, Americans, sleep, regret, motherhood and relationships.

87 Inspiring Quotes By Anne Tyler Will Make You Love Her More

Famous As: Novelist
Born On: October 25, 1941
Born In: Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States
Anne Tyler is an acclaimed American novelist, short story writer and literary critic. She is known for the vivid way in which she builds the characters in her stories. Tyler studied Russian at Duke University and then attended Columbia University for her post graduate education. It was during her time as a student at Duke University that her story ‘Paula’ was published in the literary journal at the University. Despite a break in her career as a writer, Tyler has published some of the most well-known works in the English language. Some of her noted novels include ‘Breathing Lessons’, ‘Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant’, ‘Searching for Caleb’ and ‘A Patchwork Planet’. She won the ‘Pulitzer Prize’ for Fiction in 1989 for the novel ‘Breathing Lessons’. She had also been awarded the ‘National Book Critics Circle Award’ for Fiction in 1985 for the novel ‘The Accidental Tourist’ and it remains one of her most widely read books. Anne Tyler is without doubt one of the most influential and important story-tellers of the modern era and here are some of the most famous quotes and sayings from her life and work. Take a look at the most memorable quotations and thoughts by Anne Tyler which have been excerpted from the vast sea of her works.
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I read so I can live more than one life in more than one place.

Anne Tyler

I'm beginning to think that maybe it's not just how much you love someone. Maybe what matters is who you are when you're with them.

Anne Tyler

It is very difficult to live among people you love and hold back from offering them advice.

Anne Tyler

It is not how much you love someone, but who you are when you are with him.

Anne Tyler

I've never quite believed that one chance is all I get

Anne Tyler

One sad thing about this world is that the acts that take the most out of you are usually the ones that people will never know about. (from 'Celestial Navigation')

Anne Tyler

People always call it luck when you’ve acted more sensibly than they have.

Anne Tyler

Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person.

Anne Tyler

It's true that writing is a solitary occupation, but you would be surprised at how much companionship a group of imaginary characters can offer once you get to know them.

Anne Tyler

People who hadn't suffered a loss yet struck me as not quite grown up.

Anne Tyler

There is no sound more peaceful than rain on the roof, if you're safe asleep in someone else's house.

Anne Tyler

It struck her all at once that dealing with other human beings was an awful lot of work.

Anne Tyler

When you have children, you're obligated to live.

Anne Tyler

Ever consider what pets must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul - chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth!

Anne Tyler

He wished he had inhabited more of his life, used it better, filled it fuller.

Anne Tyler

Bravest thing about people is how they go on loving mortal beings after finding out there's such a thing as dying.

Anne Tyler

But if you never did anything you couldn't undo you'd end up doing nothing at all.

Anne Tyler

She was good at talking with young people. She seemed to view them as interesting foreigners.

Anne Tyler

It seems to me that since I've had children, I've grown richer and deeper. They may have slowed down my writing for a while, but when I did write, I had more of a self to speak from.

Anne Tyler

If I waited till I felt like writing, I'd never write at all.

Anne Tyler

...it's closeness that does you in. Never get too close to people, son.

Anne Tyler

They were like people who run to meet, holding out their arms, but their aim is wrong; they pass each other and keep running.

Anne Tyler

He was wondering if there was some cryptic, cultish mark on his door that told all the crazy people he'd have trouble saying no.

Anne Tyler

There is no true life. Your true life is the one you end up with, whatever it may be. You just do the best you can with what you've got.

Anne Tyler

But it was easier, somehow, to reflect on them all from a distance than to be struggling for room in their midst.

Anne Tyler

I'm falling into disrepair

Anne Tyler

That was one of the worst things about losing your wife, I found: your wife is the very person you want to discuss it all with.

Anne Tyler

It wasn't what you said", he told her."It was how I felt when you said it".

Anne Tyler

You’re only ever as happy as your least happy child?’

Anne Tyler

The trouble with dying,” she’d told Jeannie once, “is that you don’t get to see how everything turns out. You won’t know the ending.

Anne Tyler

But it has occurred to me, on occasion, that our memories of our loved ones might not be the point. Maybe the point is their memories—all that they take away with them.

Anne Tyler

...he thought of dying as a kind of adventure, something new that he hadn't yet experienced. Like an unusual vacation trip.

Anne Tyler

I used to toy with the notion that when we die we find out what our lives have amounted to, finally. I'd never imagined that we could find that out when somebody else dies.

Anne Tyler

The very thing that attracts you to someone can end up putting you off.

Anne Tyler

The one ironclad rule is that I have to try. I have to walk into my writing room and pick up my pen every weekday morning.

Anne Tyler

She remembered the feel of wind on summer nights - how it billows through the house and wafts the curtains and smells of tar and roses

Anne Tyler

No couple buying wedding rings wants to be reminded that someday one of them will have to accept the other one's ring from a nurse or an undertaker.

Anne Tyler

And she thought what a clean, simple life she would have led if it weren't for love.

Anne Tyler

It makes you wonder why we bother accumulating, accumulating, when we know from earliest childhood how it’s all going to end.

Anne Tyler

You know how you just have to touch your child, sometimes? How you drink him in with your eyes and you could stare at him for hours and you marvel at how dear and impossibly perfect he is?

Anne Tyler

I write because I want to have more than one life.

Anne Tyler

Either she was admirably at ease anywhere or she suffered from a total lack of discrimination; Liam couldn't decide which.

Anne Tyler

You know why I like to talk to you, Delia? You never interrupt with your experiences. Not jiggling your foot till you get a chance to jump in with your life history.

Anne Tyler

Abby had a little trick that she used any time Red acted like a cranky old codger. She reminded herself of the day she had fallen in love with him.

Anne Tyler

The thing about caller ID is,” Red said, more or less to himself, “it seems a little like cheating. A person should be willing to take his chances, answering the phone.

Anne Tyler

You think we're a family,' Cody said, turning back. 'You think we're some jolly, situation-comedy family when we're in particles, torn apart, torn all over the place, and our mother was a witch.

Anne Tyler

This is a specific person, do you understand? Not just some patient. I want to make sure you realize that.

Anne Tyler

At this moment (letting a breeze ripple through her fingers like warm water), Maggie felt that the entire business of time's passing was more than she could bear.

Anne Tyler

She collected and polished resentments as if it were some kind of hobby.

Anne Tyler

For me, writing was the only way out.

Anne Tyler

I was born with the impression that what happened in books was much for reasonable, and interesting, and real, in some ways, than what happened in life.

Anne Tyler

Smells could bring a person back clearer than pictures even could.

Anne Tyler

It was ridiculous of her to feel so wounded.

Anne Tyler

But his study was so dim and close, and it gave off the salty inky smell of mental fidgeting.

Anne Tyler

Why wasn't there an etiquette book for runaway wives?

Anne Tyler

Face it,' I said. 'There is no true life. Your true life is the one you end up with, whatever it may be. You just do the best you can with what you've got,' I said.

Anne Tyler

Sometimes she felt like a tiny gnat, whirring around her family’s edges

Anne Tyler

Past is past... no it's not! People are always fond of saying that, but what's past is never past; not entirely.

Anne Tyler

She passed her New York Reviews on to Troy without giving them a glance; she told him she thought there was something perverted about book reviews that were longer than the books they were reviewing.

Anne Tyler

Fifty years from now, strangers discovering this album at some parking-lot flea market would glance at us and flip the page, not even interested enough to wonder who we’d been.

Anne Tyler

But what I hope for in a book - either one that I write or one that I read - is transparency. I want the story to shine through. I don't want to think of the writer.

Anne Tyler

Much of Macon's youth was ruled by connotations.

Anne Tyler

One thing that parents of problem children never said aloud: it was a relief when the children turned out okay, but then what were the parents supposed to do with the anger they’d felt all those years?

Anne Tyler

Sugar's cheek was smooth and taut beneath the veil. It felt like one of these netted onions in a grocery store.

Anne Tyler

They entered Pennsylvania and the road grew smooth for a few hundred yards, like a good intention, before settling back to the old scabby, stippled surface.

Anne Tyler

...apparently you grow to love whom you're handed.

Anne Tyler

She loved them so much that she felt a kind of hollowness on the inner surface of her arms whenever she looked at them-an ache of longing to pull them close and hold them tight against her.

Anne Tyler

Skinny as a fence post.

Anne Tyler

Ghosts... they are the completions of the deads intended gestures, there unfinished plans still hanging in the air - something like when you forgot one thing and so you pantomime the motion.

Anne Tyler

Ah, God, it's barbaric, however you look at it,' he told Ruth. 'What, cremation?' she asked. 'Death.

Anne Tyler

Not invade her privacy! Just sit back and give up on her, as if she were a missing pet or mitten, or dropped penny.

Anne Tyler

A Japanese man festooned with cameras, a nun, a young girl in braids.

Anne Tyler

I was born with the impression that what happened in books was much more reasonable, and interesting, and real, in some ways, than what happened in life.

Anne Tyler

...that was Julian for you: reckless. A dashing sailor, a speedy driver, a frequenter of single bars, he was the kind of man who would make a purchase without consulting _Consumer Reports_.

Anne Tyler

He honestly believed, for an instant, that what he'd heard was music-a tune piped, a burble of notes, a little scrap of melody floating by on wind and breaking his heart.

Anne Tyler

But what if it’s someone who’s not our type? Someone who wears the back of her collar up or something?’

Anne Tyler

Just think how it would look if a reader walked into a caf you'd recommended and found it taken over by vegetarians.

Anne Tyler

It was Serena who'd said that motherhood was much too hard and, when you got right down to it, perhaps not worth the effort.

Anne Tyler

Sometimes he fantasised that at the end of his life, he would be shown a home movie of all the roads he had not taken, and where they would have led.

Anne Tyler

All I saw was one black cat, an insultingly paranoid type who shrank off as I drew near.

Anne Tyler

He had begun to have spells lately of worrying that he had died, and that everyone knew it but him.

Anne Tyler

If I waited till I felt like writing, I would never write at all.

Anne Tyler

Sifting through these layers of belongings while Ira stood mute behind her, Maggie had a sudden view of her life as circular. It forever repeated itself, and it was entirely lacking in hope.

Anne Tyler

Those who forget the past tend to regret the future

Anne Tyler

I liked to dwell on these shortcomings now. It wasn’t only that I was wondering why they had ever annoyed me. I was hoping they would annoy me still, so that I could stop missing her.

Anne Tyler

The trouble with dying is you don't get to stay around and see how everything turns out.

Anne Tyler

This was an attractive room, spacious and well designed, but it had the comfortably shabby air of a place whose inhabitants had long ago stopped seeing it.

Anne Tyler