4 Questions

Anne Tyler shares the best writing advice she has ever received

Anne Tyler is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist. Her new book is called Clock Dance.
Clock Dance is the latest novel by Anne Tyler. (Penguin Random House)

Anne Tyler is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist and a frequent presence on the literary world's most prestigious shortlists. Her latest is Clock Dance, the story of a woman named Willa Drake and her impulsive decision to temporarily abandon her life for Baltimore. There, she cares for her son's ex-girlfriend Denise, who has been shot, and Denise's nine-year-old daughter.

CBC Books caught up with Tyler and asked her for some writing wisdom, book recommendations and a glimpse into her next project.

What would you tell your younger self?

"That everything ends, eventually. This would serve both as a reassurance (I used to worry I would be stuck in childhood forever) and a warning: take proper note of all that's around you before it's gone for good."

What book would you recommend to aspiring writers?

"Eudora Welty's The Golden Apples. It's a group of short stories connected by a single location and population, and I can't think of a better demonstration of how writers should behave toward their characters."

What is the best writing advice you've ever received?

"My Grade 11 English teacher used to tell us, 'Read, read, read.' Really, when you think about it, that's the one absolute necessity as an education for writing."

What's next for you?

 I'm writing a novel about an IT man who can't figure out why his girlfriends keep leaving him.


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