Anne Tyler: Celestial Navigation

(595 words)

In her fifth novel, Celestial Navigation (published in the United States in 1974), author Anne Tyler utilizes multiple points of view to chronicle the dysfunction and primary casualty of the Pauling family, residents of the Baltimore, Maryland, USA suburb of Roland Park that serves as the backdrop for many of her works. Interspersed among the first-person testimonies of sibling Amanda Pauling, lover Mary Tell, and two boarders (spinster bookseller Miss Vinton and teenage hippie Olivia), is the story of protagonist Jeremy Pauling, who, symbolically and appropriately, is never granted a first-person chapter of his own.

A middle-aged bachelor, Jeremy suffers from severe agoraphobia, the result of being the youngest …

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Donohue, Cecilia. "Celestial Navigation". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 June 2009
[, accessed 02 July 2015.]