Anne Tyler: Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant

(1194 words)
  • Margaret Wooten (Anderson University )

Set in Baltimore, Maryland, in the 1960s, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant opens with an aged Pearl musing upon her life and giving instructions to her younger son, Ezra, to invite everyone in her address book to her funeral. And who is in that book? Beck, of course. He never divorced Pearl, but he walked away from the family when their children, Cody, Ezra, and Jenny were fourteen, eleven, and nine years of age, respectively. When Cody graduates from high school, Pearl muses about her nearly-grown children: “Beck would not have known them, and they, perhaps, would not have known Beck. They never asked about him. Didn’t that show how little importance a father has? The invisible man. The absent presence. Pearl felt a tinge …

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Wooten, Margaret. "Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 January 2004
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]