Nominated by:

The National Library of Estonia, Tallinn

Lincoln Library, Springfield, USA

Publisher of nominated edition:

Vintage, UK

Alfred A. Knopf, USA

A Spool of Blue Thread

Anne Tyler      

2017 Longlist

‘It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon…’

This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she and Red fell in love that summer’s day in 1959. The whole family on the porch, half-listening as their mother tells the same tale they have heard so many times before.

From that porch we spool back through the generations, witnessing the events, secrets and unguarded moments that have come to define the family. From Red’s father and mother, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to Abby and Red’s grandchildren carrying the family legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century – four generations of Whitshanks, their lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn Baltimore house that has always been their home…

(from publisher)

About the Author

Anne Tyler is the author of twenty bestselling novels. Her most recent, A Spool of Blue Thread, was a Sunday Times bestseller and shortlisted for both the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Man Booker Prize. She has won the Pulitzer Prize and the Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence, which recognises a lifetime’s achievement in books, as well as being nominated by Roddy Doyle and Nick Hornby as ‘the greatest novelist writing in English’.

Librarians’ Comments

A story that just unwinds and unwinds, poignant, human, realistic and delightful.

Tyler’s novel of the Whitshank family is beautifully crafted with insight and humour. An unsentimental look at an ordinary family, but with hidden complexities, over a period of four generations. Tyler’s characters seem as real as your own neighbours and so it is easy to welcome them into your life and to remember them once the novel is finished.

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