Published in 1995, Ladder of Years was the thirteenth of Anne Tyler's novels. Upon its debut, it received critical notices that spanned the spectrum, and this seriocomic novel of the Grinstead family was not fêted with prestigious awards, as Tyler's The Accidental Tourist (1985) and Breathing Lessons (1988) were. However, Ladder of Years remains a popular choice to this day for both academic and library book-group reading lists.

Students of contemporary United States literature debate Tyler's commentary on American family life. Those who read this work in Women in Literature classrooms engage in sometimes heated debate about the protagonist's motivations and actions. Scholarly readers revel in the …

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Donohue, Cecilia. "Ladder of Years". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 October 2002
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]