Anne Tyler: Breathing Lessons

(1639 words)
  • Martin Kich

Breathing Lessons is a domestic comedy with undercurrents of deep pathos. It is also a generational novel and a road novel. As in many of her other works, Tyler explores how ordinary characters are defined by and can be understood through the idiosyncrasies and eccentricities that, under certain circumstances, become transformed into compulsions.

Divided into three parts, Breathing Lessons focuses on the family and friends of Ira and Maggie Moran, a middle-aged couple. The first and third sections are told largely from Maggie’s point of view. In particular, the narrative in the first section contains many near non-sequiturs, euphemisms, somewhat odd or oddly inserted metaphors, and unusual, slightly dated …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Citation:
Kich, Martin. "Breathing Lessons". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 January 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=14572, accessed 04 August 2015.]