Alongside the universal literary theme of quest for identity, Anne Tyler, in her first published novel If Morning Ever Comes (1964), addresses a pair of issues often visited by both past and present women writers of the American South. These are: (1) the irresistible pull of home and family despite responsibilities elsewhere; and (2) home and hearth as the locus of empowerment for women.

Protagonist Benjamin Josiah, or “Ben Joe” Hawkes, a law student at New York City’s Columbia University, answers a self-induced summons in mid-semester to return to his native Sandhill, North Carolina, to see his older sister Joanne, who has separated from her husband Gary. Joanne’s marital problems are not the only distaff …

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Donohue, Cecilia. "If Morning Ever Comes". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 September 2008
[, accessed 25 September 2016.]