Breathing Lessons

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Breathing Lessons
First edition cover
Author Anne Tyler
Country United States
Language English
Publisher Knopf
Publication date
Media type Print (hardback & paperback)
Pages 336
ISBN 0-394-57234-3
OCLC 17917014
Dewey Decimal 813/.54 19
LC Class PS3570.Y45 B74 1988

Breathing Lessons is a 1988 novel by American author Anne Tyler. It is her eleventh book.


The story describes the joys and pains of the ordinary marriage of Ira and Maggie Moran as they travel from Baltimore to attend a funeral and back home again in one day. It also examines Maggie's attempts to reconcile her son and daughter-in-law. A few detours during their 90-mile drive reveal Ira and Maggie's "incompatibilities, disappointments, unmet expectations—and lasting love".[1]


There have been several adaptations of Breathing Lessons in other media.

In 1994, a television movie based on the book was made for the Hallmark Hall of Fame. It was directed by John Erman, and starred James Garner and Joanne Woodward as Ira and Maggie Moran. It was filmed in the Pittsburgh PA area.

Kevin McKeon also adapted the novel into a stage play. From June 6 – 29, 2003, he directed its premier run at the Book-It Repertory Theatre, at Seattle Center House Theatre, Seattle Center, in Seattle, Washington.


Breathing Lessons won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1989[2] and was a finalist for the 1988 National Book Award.[3] It was also Time Magazine's Book of the Year.[4]


  1. ^ Teisch, Jessica. "Anne Tyler." Bookmarks (Issue 25). Nov./Dec. 2006.
  2. ^ "Fiction". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "National Book Awards - 1988". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  4. ^

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