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No one does family like Anne Tyler - and the Battistas might be her most appealing yet…the new novel from the bestselling author of A Spool of Blue Thread

The hilarious new novel from the bestselling author of A Spool of Blue Thread

'A thoroughly modern love story' Guardian, Books of the Year


Kate Battista is stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and infuriating younger sister Bunny?

Dr Battista has other problems. His brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. And without Pyotr, his new scientific breakthrough will fall through…

When Dr Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he’s relying – as usual – on Kate to help him. Will Kate be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to win her round?

Anne Tyler’s brilliant retelling of The Taming of the Shrew asks whether a thoroughly modern woman like Kate would ever sacrifice herself for a man. The answer is as surprising as Kate herself.

Reviews

It's knockabout comedy at its best, genuinely laugh-out-loud funny and, indeed, may be her funniest book to date

John Harding, Daily Mail

The worst wedding in history ... vintage Anne Tyler

Ann Treneman, The Times

It's every subtle shade of funny, heart-breaking and ultimately life-affirming

Grazia

Funny, thought-provoking, essential

The Sunday Telegraph (Stella)

Delightful, ingenious and convincing… Anyone who values good writing and the intelligent observation and depiction of how people feel, think and speak will enjoy it too

Allan Massie, Scotsman

There is much of Tyler's trademark wit and sharp observation here. She shifts effortlessly from humour to pathos and creates emotion without any hint of sentimentality ... Funny and poignant

Charlotte Heathcote, Sunday Express

Full of Tyler's signature virtues -- domestic details, familial conflict, emotional ambivalence, a sharp sense of place… Novels such as Anne Tyler’s, which are so precise and current, are like photographs or digital clock faces that tell us where we are and where we are coming from at the same time. Vinegar Girl is an earthy reflection of this fleeting moment, both lively and thoughtful

Jane Smiley, New York Times Book Review

Tyler’s signature skill as a novelist is portraying her characters and her setting with such precise and amusing detail … that pretty soon the reader is drawn in, willy-nilly. We know where this is heading, yet she does a great job putting up the roadblocks and incorporating the surprising curves… Novels such as Anne Tyler’s, which are so precise and current, are like photographs or digital clock faces that tell us where we are and where we are coming from at the same time. ‘Vinegar Girl’ is an earthy reflection of this fleeting moment, both lively and thoughtful.

Jane Smiley, New York Times Book Review

Tyler's deepest purpose is to challenge the premisses of Shakspeare's comedy... Her gentle, funny novel insists that it is possible, in spite of our customarily blind perversities, to find unexpected ways of breaking free from self-destruction

Dinah Birch, Times Literary Supplement

This sparky, intelligent spin on Shakespeare's controversial classic demolishes the old saw that you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar

Elizabeth Lowry, The Guardian

Family drama meets rom-com in a modern version of The Taming of the Shrew. Pushy dad plus entitled little sister, cute but clueless suitor, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author equals must-read

Cosmopolitan

The terrifically talented author is the latest to tackle Shakespeare for the Hogarth series ... In her modern take on The Taming of the Shrew, Kate is a university drop-out whose scientist dad is pushing her to marry his lab assistant so he can stay in the country. But will this bright, independent woman sacrifice herself? Like the original, the heroine is pleasingly acerbic and her happy ending is anything but conventional

Good Housekeeping

Fabulous... Tyler has fun exploring how far a modern woman would go for the sake of daughterly duty

Saga Magazine

A reflective, engaging twist on Shakespeare’s unfashionable play

Vanessa Berridge, Daily Express

[A] screwball comedy of manners that actually channels Jane Austen more than Shakespeare. It's clear that [Tyler] had fun with Vinegar Girl, and readers will too… A fizzy cocktail of a romantic comedy, far more sweet than acidic, about finding a mate who appreciates you for your idiosyncratic, principled self – no taming necessary

NPR.org

Beautiful, off-beat love story…I became enraptured by their seemingly little lives. It’s every subtle shade of funny, heart-breaking and ultimately life-affirming… Gentle, heart-warming tale

Lisa Howard, Emily Phillips, Jenny Croall, Grazia

Vinegar Girl is an absorbing read from the very first page, where the characters immediately come to life

Daisy Watt

Hilarious contemporary take on the play.

Frankie McCoy, Evening Standard

Enjoy this wry, wise, hilarious take on the relations between men and women, and Tyler’s loving feminism untinged with bitterness

Jane Oâ??Grady, The Oldie

Fun, accomplished, readable, enjoyable

Viv Groskop, The Guardian

A fascinating take on humanity, with plenty of amusing, unexpected twists in the tale that only a brilliant writer such as Anne Tyler can achieve

Candis

We love Anne Tyler and this book is as brilliant as you’d expect. Perfect for a long journey – you won’t look up from it.

A Little Bird

Tyler is uniquely capable of handling a rebarbative character like Kate with generosity and imagination ... she consistently finds good in unpromising people and is a sharp and very funny observer of day-to-day life. [...] A joy

Elspeth Barker, Literary Review

Gripping. This is typical Tyler territory. It is a domestic drama, with eccentric characters, which is deeper than it first appears. I loved it

Ann Smout, Nudge

Takes Shakespeare’s comedy…into contemporary life with compelling effect.

Country & Town House

An enjoyable read and it’s always a pleasure to read her writing.

Woman's Way

A sweet love story… The conversations are the best bits.

Claire Harman, Evening Standard

Excellent

Glamour

Tyler’s talents are lavish, and the novel has plenty of incidental pleasures.

James Walton, Daily Telegraph

Everyone from Margaret Atwood to Howard Jacobson is reimagining Shakespeare in fiction this year. Tyler’s take on The Taming of the Shrew looks to be the highlight

Andrew Holgate, Sunday Times

A joy to experience.

Elspeth Barker, Literary Review

A new Anne Tyler book is always a treat. The terrifically talented author is the latest to tackle Shakespeare…and our favourite so far.

Good Housekeeping

I loved Kate and Pyotr and the way they discover the oversized, tender, irreverent relationship that fits them... It is joyful

Rachel Joyce

With her sharp eye for family dynamics and telling domestic detail, Pultizer winning Tyler is the perfect match for The Taming of the Shrew… With Tyler’s typical warmth and humour, and her knack for creating endearingly quirky characters, the result is believable, moving and entertaining.

Lady

A sprightly reprise of [The Taming of the Shrew].

Eithne Farry, Simple Things, Book of the Year

A sprightly reprise of [The Taming of the Shrew].

Eithne Farry, Simple Things, Book of the Year

Entertaining and Unpredictable.

Irish Mail on Sunday, Book of the Year

A sweetly rendered, thoroughly modern love story.

Guardian, Book of the Year

Acutely observed and warmly entertaining.

William Leith, Evening Standard

Warmly entertaining

i

A bittersweet comedy with some stinging contemporary resonance… Acutely observed and quirkily humorous… light but intelligent.

Juanita Coulson, Lady

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780099589877

    March 20, 2017

    Vintage

    272 pages

    RRP $22.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Trade Paperback

    9781781090190

    June 27, 2016

    Hogarth

    240 pages

    RRP $29.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781448190171

    June 16, 2016

    Vintage Digital

    272 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Anne Tyler

A Spool of Blue Thread
Large Print: The Beginner's Goodbye
The Beginner's Goodbye
Noah's Compass
Digging to America
The Amateur Marriage
Back When We Were Grown-ups
A Patchwork Planet
Ladder Of Years
Celestial Navigation
Searching For Caleb
The Accidental Tourist
Dinner At The Homesick Restaurant
Saint Maybe
Breathing Lessons
Morgan's Passing
Earthly Possessions
If Morning Ever Comes
The Tin Can Tree
The Clock Winder
A Slipping Down Life

Recommendations

Crimes of the Father
Best Laid Plans
The Course Of Love
Their Finest
Hag-Seed
Oh Dear Silvia
According To Yes
Pussy
Into the Water
Night School
The Woolgrower's Companion
The Traitor’s Girl
After You
Lake Hill
The Light Between Oceans
Congo Dawn
Anything Is Possible
Dunstan
Outlander
Men Without Women