Noah’s Compass

Publisher: Anchor Canada
From Pulitzer Prize–winner Anne Tyler, a wise, gently humorous, and deeply compassionate novel about a retired school teacher forced to re-evaluate his life.

Liam Pennywell has never liked teaching at a run-down private school, so when he is forced to retire at sixty-one, it doesn’t bother him. But what does is having no memory of an assailant who attacked him on the first night after he moved to his efficient condominium on the outskirts of Baltimore. He’s driven to recover this memory and at the same time recover other moments of his life that he has, over time, forgotten. But he can’t do it alone. What he needs is a “hired rememberer” — someone who will do the remembering for him — but when he finds Eunice, he gets a whole lot more than he anticipated.

Subtle, funny, and populated with characters that are as real as friends, Noah’s Compass is an engaging and revealing novel about coming to terms with change, family, love, and memory.

From the Hardcover edition.


In the sixty-first year of his life, Liam Pennywell lost his job.
It wasn’t such a good job, anyhow. He’d been teaching fifth grade in a second-rate private boys’ school. Fifth grade wasn’t even what he’d been trained for. Teaching wasn’t what he...
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1. When Anne Tyler was just starting to write Noah’s Compass, a journalist asked her what it was about. She replied, “I’d like to write about a man who feels he has nothing more to expect from his life; but it’s anybody’s guess what the real subject will turn out to be in the end....

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"Tyler's narratives feel intimate and recognizable, as if we're flipping through an album of snapshots belonging to a relative or neighbor."
--Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

"What [Tyler] does is tell a simple, straight-ahead story in prose that is so beguiling, you barely feel that you've read it. You feel almost as if you've experienced it, and along the way made a new batch of likeable friends."
--Winnipeg Free Press

From the Hardcover edition.