"If you were to pop by Anne Tyler's house in leafy Roland Park, Baltimore, on a Tuesday afternoon, you might interrupt her and five women friends deep into an episode of The Wire. They have seen all five seasons three times, and are discussing how soon they can begin a fourth viewing....
Today, Tyler is in London. In the literary world this is news. Before the publication of her latest novel, The Beginner's Goodbye, she hadn't given a face-to-face interview for almost 40 years – and before that she gave only two. Her reluctance to submit to the demands of today's publicity machine means that any newspaper feature (there are remarkably few) inevitably compares her to the reclusive Salinger.
But when we meet, on a sunny spring morning in Kensington, it's hard to imagine anyone less like the irascible Salinger; with her silver fringe, upright posture and smiling eyes, she radiates equanimity, friendliness and goodness, if that doesn't sound too Tylerish. Literary editors and journalists had given up even inquiring if she might grant an interview – why has she agreed now?
'It's sort of whimsical. I'm 70. And I thought, why not?' The same answer she gave to her husband when he asked her to marry him."