50 States of Literature: Exploring in Maryland | Columbia Spectator

50 States of Literature: Exploring in Maryland | Columbia Spectator

Columbia Spectator‘s 50 States of Literature series continues with Anne Tyler’s novel A Patchwork Planet, where the main character, Barnaby Gaitlin, lives just outside of Baltimore:

The quiet neighborhood outside of Baltimore serves to nestle Barnaby with its “big, tall spruce trees” and “damp, chilly feel” that leaves a permanent mist on car windows. More so than the land itself, however, the northeast crispness of Baltimore attitude, which leaves characters like Barnaby’s clients more satisfyingly prickly than cuddly, serves as the perfect setting for the struggles of a promising loser.

Like all of Tyler’s novels, this one is character driven and delightful in a quirky way.