Digging to America

Digging to America

Book - 2006
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In what is perhaps her richest and most deeply searching novel, Anne Tyler gives us a story about what it is to be an American, and about Maryam Yazdan, who after Thirty-five 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 American wife. Each couple is awaiting the arrival of an adopted infant daughter from Korea. After the babies from distant Asia are delivered, Bitsy Donaldson impulsively invites the Yazdans to celebrate with an "arrival party," an event that is repeated every year as the two families become more deeply intertwined. Even independent-minded Maryam is drawn in. But only up to a point. When she finds herself being courted by one of the Donaldson clan, a good-hearted man of her vintage, recently widowed and still recovering from his wife's death, suddenly all the values she cherishes--her traditions, her privacy, her otherness--are threatened. Somehow this big American takes up so much space that the orderly boundaries of her life feel invaded. A luminous novel brimming with subtle, funny, and tender observations that cast a penetrating light on the American way as seen from two perspectives, those who are born here and those who are still struggling to fit in.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2006.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780307263940
Call Number: TYLER
Characteristics: p. ; cm.
Subjects: Baltimore (Md.) -- Fiction.
Widows -- Fiction.
Friendship -- Fiction.
Women immigrants -- Fiction.
Iranian Americans -- Fiction.
Intercountry adoption -- Fiction.
Assimilation (Sociology) -- Fiction.
Iranian American women -- Fiction.


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Jan 09, 2016

This novel swings from lighthearted satire to poignant story of the immigrant experience and friendship across all kinds of boundaries (real and manufactured). Tyler does a wonderful job of switching voices, helping us see the world through the eyes of multiple people in the story, from the Iranian immigrant 35 years in America to one of the five year old Korean adoptees, to the newly-widowed trying to find happiness again. Sometimes the satire slides toward farce, which cost it a star in my rating. Yet the complexity of the story of the immigrant experience from multiple viewpoints really is important, and well handled for the most part.

WVMLStaffPicks Jan 24, 2015

What a fine novel--complex but clear, truthful and still tender. An Iranian immigrant, her son, his wife, their daughter adopted from Korea, and their American friends in a story of generations, sexes and cultures rubbing up against each other in a most satisfying way.

JCLBeckyC Jul 30, 2012

Anne Tyler is one of my favorite authors. Read my review on the JoCoStaff Picks Blog: http://blogs.jocolibrary.org/staffpicks/07/2012/carletonb/8868/

Mar 16, 2012

I haven't read this yet but would like to

smc01 Jul 18, 2008

This book is quite light-hearted compared to some of Tyler's other novels. It concerns several quirky people from two families who adopt daughters from China. It's a bit hard to keep all the characters straight at the beginning, but it's worth the effort. By the end, I was cheering along with the families for a particular relationship to flourish. The humour is delightful.


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lilmisslibrary Jul 14, 2009

Digging to America was actually about 2 women who meet each other at the airport – picking up their daughters from South Korea!! The book then details how the families evolved and intertwined. Two things I found really interesting. One was that one family instilled more Korean culture on their daughter, while the other let the child really just be herself – and the differences between the girls was quite something. Also the difference between the children coming home after a Korean adoption and a Chinese adoption. Unfortunately the Chinese daughter in the book was a little behind and was not bonding as well as the Korean daughter. I think it is a nice read for anyone, especially for those who have already or are in the process of adopting from South Korea.


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