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Digging to America: A Novel | [Anne Tyler]

Digging to America: A Novel

Two families, who would otherwise never have come together, meet by chance at the Baltimore airport: the Donaldsons, a very American couple, and the Yazdans, Maryam's fully assimilated son and his attractive Iranian wife. Each couple is awaiting the arrival of an adopted infant daughter from Korea. After the instant babies from distant Asia are delivered, Bitsy Donaldson impulsively invites the Yazdans to celebrate.
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Publisher's Summary

Anne Tyler's richest, most deeply searching novel, a story about what it is to be an American, and about Iranian-born Maryam Yazdan, who, after 35 years in this country, must finally come to terms with her "outsiderness".

Two families, who would otherwise never have come together, meet by chance at the Baltimore airport: the Donaldsons, a very American couple, and the Yazdans, Maryam's fully assimilated son and his attractive Iranian wife. Each couple is awaiting the arrival of an adopted infant daughter from Korea. After the instant babies from distant Asia are delivered, Bitsy Donaldson impulsively invites the Yazdans to celebrate: an "arrival party" that from then on is repeated every year as the two families become more and more deeply intertwined. Even Maryam is drawn in, up to a point. When she finds herself being courted by Bitsy Donaldson's recently widowed father, all the values she cherishes - her traditions, her privacy, her otherness - are suddenly threatened.

A luminous novel brimming with subtle, funny, and tender observations that immerse us in the challenges of both sides of the American story.

©2006 Anne Tyler; (P)2006 Random House Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Digging to America succeeds on many levels - as a satire of millennial parenting, a tribute to autumn romances, and most important, an exploration of our risible (though poignant) attempts to welcome otherness into our midst." (Atlantic Monthly)
"Handling time with a light touch, Tyler creates many blissful moments of high emotion and keen humor while broaching hard truths about cultural differences, communication breakdowns, and family configurations. This deeply human tale of valiantly improvised lives is one of Tyler's best." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (324 )
5 star
 (92)
4 star
 (112)
3 star
 (76)
2 star
 (29)
1 star
 (15)
Overall
3.9 (45 )
5 star
 (15)
4 star
 (14)
3 star
 (12)
2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.0 (45 )
5 star
 (17)
4 star
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3 star
 (12)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Patricia Countryside, IL, USA 07-19-06
    Patricia Countryside, IL, USA 07-19-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Let down"

    As a long time Tyler fan, I approach with enthusiasm every work her pen produces. In agreement with other reviewers, this one was a let down. I kept listening in hope, but it never grabbed me. The usual engaging chuckles and sparks of humorous genious her writings provide just weren't there for me this time. There were a few moments when I recognized the style of the writer I've grown to enjoy and respect, but on the whole, I felt "let down" and wishing I had used my credit on something else.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick Oldsmar, FL, USA 07-18-06
    Rick Oldsmar, FL, USA 07-18-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Zzzzzzzzzz"

    Dull, Dull, Dull-- I had read the first several reviews before I purchased this and was excited to read my first Anne Tyler novel. Based on this, I doubt I would read another. What could have been a fascinating look into the lives of families with foreign adopted children, was just an endless account of the lives of uninteresting and irritating people.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane R. Katz Syracuse, NY United States 05-20-06
    Diane R. Katz Syracuse, NY United States 05-20-06 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    "Loved It!!"

    I absolutely loved listening to this book. Blair Brown's characterizations along with Ann Tyler's brilliant take on humanity are a great combination.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sindi 05-10-06
    Sindi 05-10-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    74
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    226
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    5
    Overall
    "Blah, blah, blah"

    I really wanted to like this book but I just couldn't. It followed two families but nothing ever happened. When there was the opportunity to go deep, the author just blew past it. I had nothing else to listen to and it was still tooooo boring to finish. Save your book credits for something else.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara United States 08-06-12
    Barbara United States 08-06-12

    Babz

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    3
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    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyed it very much!"

    I thought it was pretty good! Im a big fan of Anne Tyler
    and Blair Brown! !!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra Neiman 07-15-06

    CFP, Author

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Disappointing"

    I kept waiting for something to happen, but nothing materialized. The storyline was flat. The narrator, on the other hand, did a wonderful job.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marian South Salem, NY, USA 07-10-06
    Marian South Salem, NY, USA 07-10-06
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    1
    Overall
    "Went Nowhere"

    I have to agree with the other reviewers who were waiting for something, anything, to happen. I used to love Anne Tyler, but now I feel as though she's getting published based on her past works. A first novelist would have been shopping this one for years, to no avail.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Kizziar Texas 06-27-06
    Carol Kizziar Texas 06-27-06 Member Since 2015

    Carol K

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    Overall
    "Pretty boring"

    This book was somewhat enjoyable to me, but I just kept waiting for something, anything to happen and it never did. Very mundane, especially the whole section about Bitsey's second daughter's pacifier. I thought it would never end. I would not recommend this book, although I like Anne Tyler's writings.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah New York, NY, USA 11-07-06
    Deborah New York, NY, USA 11-07-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    30
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "WEAK"

    This story was weak and trite. I was able to listen to it through, but I would not recommend it.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful

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