The Accidental Tourist
|The Accidental Tourist|
First edition cover
|Cover artist||Fred Marcellino|
|Publication date||August 12, 1985|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover and Paperback)|
|Dewey Decimal||813/.54 19|
|LC Classification||PS3570.Y45 A64 1985|
The Accidental Tourist is a 1985 novel by Anne Tyler that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. The novel was adapted into a 1988 award-winning film starring William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, and Geena Davis, for which Davis won an Academy Award.
Set in Baltimore, Maryland, the plot revolves around Macon Leary, a writer of travel guides whose son has been killed in a shooting at a fast-food restaurant. He and his wife Sarah, separately lost in grief, find their marriage disintegrating until she eventually moves out. When he becomes incapacitated due to a fall, he returns to the family home to stay with his eccentric siblings—sister Rose and brothers Porter and Charles—whose odd habits include alphabetizing the groceries in the kitchen cabinets and ignoring the ringing telephone. When his publisher, Julian, comes to visit, Julian finds himself attracted to Rose. They eventually marry.
Macon hires Muriel Pritchett, a quirky young woman with a sickly son, to train his unruly dog, and soon finds himself drifting into a relationship with the two of them. When his wife Sarah becomes aware of the situation, she decides they should reconcile, forcing him to make a difficult decision about his future.
In The New York Times, Larry McMurtry says, "Tyler shows, with a fine clarity, the mingling of misery and contentment in the daily lives of her families, reminds us how alike--and yet distinct--happy and unhappy families can be. Muriel Pritchett is as appealing a woman as Miss Tyler has created; and upon the quiet Macon she lavishes the kind of intelligent consideration that he only intermittently gets from his own womenfolk". 
- Innocent with an Explanation, The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler Review by Time Magazine