Monday, February 19, 2007
In Anne Tyler's latest novel, two families' chance meeting at the airport to pick up their adopted Korean daughters leads to a lasting, if awkward, friendship. The Donaldsons are a white middle-class couple and the Yazdans are an Iranian-American couple. The two families become increasingly entwined when the girls' grandparents--Dave, of the Donaldsons, and Maryam Yazdan--begin a romantic relationship. Tyler's late husband was of Iranian descent, and the best parts of the novel concern Maryam's strong cultural identity as it brushes up against the Donaldsons' brash American one.