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Extended Audio Sample Vinegar Girl: A Novel, by Anne Tyler Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anne Tyler Narrator: Kirsten Potter Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew is retold as Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler, Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author.

Anne Tyler’s retelling of The Taming of the Shrew asks whether a thoroughly modern, independent woman like Kate would ever sacrifice herself for a man. Its answer is as individual, offbeat, and funny as Kate herself.

Kate Battista feels stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and her uppity, pretty younger sister, Bunny? Plus, she’s always in trouble at work—her preschool charges adore her, but their parents don’t always appreciate her unusual opinions and forthright manner.

Dr. Battista has his own problems. After years in the academic wilderness, he is on the verge of a breakthrough. His research could help millions. There’s only one problem: his brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. And without Pyotr, Dr. Battista’s work may not ever be realized.

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. Kate is furious: this time he’s really asking too much. Will she be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to bring her around?

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Quotes & Awards

  • New York Times Bestseller
  • Excellent. Glamour 
  • A reflective, engaging twist on Shakespeare’s unfashionable play. Daily Express  
  • Everyone loves Anne Tyler. San Francisco Chronicle
  • Without Anne Tyler, American fiction would be an immeasurably bleaker place. Newsday
  • Tyler’s characters are thoroughly three-dimensional. They are our own families; they are ourselves; and it is our own desperate desire to understand the people we love, as well as the people who hurt us and whom we hurt, that keeps us reading with fervor. The Boston Globe
  • Is there any living American writer who has written as well about marriage as Anne Tyler? Or who has consistently been as honest about the disconnect between fantasies of lovebirds living happily ever after and the often sad but also funny miracle of two separate people actually staying together? In Vinegar Girl Tyler brings these talents to the altar of the Hogarth Shakespeare series…it's fun, lighthearted, clever, compassionate and filled with Tyler's always extraordinary love for her characters, liberating them here to love each other. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
  • [A] great success; Vinegar Girl is funny and endearing, the quirky characters vintage Tyler. Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • A very funny retelling of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. The Sacramento Bee
  • 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
  • A quirky tale that transports Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew to Tyler's modern-day Baltimore, where a father's attempt to shoehorn his daughter into a green-card marriage has, of course, an unintentionally happy ending. W Magazine
  • Tyler’s smooth prose makes Vinegar Girl, one of a series of renowned authors’ Shakespearean updates, a light, summer read. Baltimore Magazine
  • Readers unfamiliar with The Taming of the Shrew will have no problem enjoying this novel, which is funny, fun-loving and uplifting. Those who know the original well will be intrigued by Tyler's riffs: Is the new Kate less shrewish, or simply better characterized, her motives and anxieties better understood? In either case, the surprising ending, which deviates from Shakespeare's in important ways, makes for a heartwarming conclusion to a quirky, timeless tale. Shelf Awareness
  • The Taming of the Shrew meets Green Card in this delightful reinvention that owes as much to Tyler’s quirky sensibilities as it does to its literary forebear. Come for the Shakespeare, stay for the wonderful Tyler. Library Journal (starred review)
  • Resplendent storyteller Tyler (A Spool of Blue Thread, 2015) is perfectly paired with The Taming of the Shrew…Deeply and pleasurably inspired by her source, Tyler is marvelously nimble and effervescent in this charming, hilarious, and wickedly shrewd tale of reversal and revelation. Booklist (starred review)
  • Anne Tyler’s Vinegar Girl, based on The Taming of the Shrew, gives readers a modern, witty, wonderful Kate. Lithub.com
  • This sparky, intelligent spin on Shakespeare's controversial classic demolishes the old saw that you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. The Guardian 
  • [A] modern take on The Taming of the Shrew. Good Housekeeping 

    Tyler's deepest purpose is to challenge the premises 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.
  • [Vinegar Girl is] knockabout comedy at its best, genuinely laugh-out-loud funny and, indeed, may be [Tyler’s] funniest book to date. Daily Mail 
  • Funny, thought-provoking, essential. The Sunday Telegraph
  • [A] hilarious contemporary take on the play. Frankie McCoy, Evening Standard 
  • 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. Literary Review 
  • You are involved before you even notice you were paying attention . . . Her feel for character is so keen that even hardened metafictionalists [who] would happily fry the whole notion of 'character' for breakfast are reduced to the role of helpless gossips, swapping avid hunches about the possible fates of the characters. Tom Shone, The New Yorker
  • Tyler's eye and ear for familial give and take is unerring, her humanity irresistible. You'll want to turn back to the first chapter the moment you finish the last. People
  • [A] novel by Anne Tyler is cause for celebration. Caroline Moore, The Sunday Telegraph 
  • Tyler reveals, with unobtrusive mastery, the disconcerting patchwork of comedy and pathos that marks all our lives. Michael Dirda, Wall Street Journal
  • Over five decades of exuberant shape-shifting across the fictional landscape, Anne Tyler has cut the steady swath of a literary stalwart, writing novel after novel whose most memorable characters inhabit a cosmos all their own. Julia Glass, New York Times Book Review 
  • Anne Tyler never disappoints . . . Her insights about life, love, aging, marriage, siblings, grief, and unexpected happiness grow richer and deeper with each passing year and book. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • Anne Tyler has no peer. Her books just keep getting better and better. Anita Shreve
  • The wonder of Anne Tyler is how consistently clear-eyed and truthful she remains about the nature of families and especially marriage. Los Angeles Times
  • An effective retelling, while nodding to the original text, stands on its own as a story in the way Iris Murdoch’s 'The Black Prince' responds to 'Hamlet' and Aldous Huxley’s 'Brave New World' plays with 'The Tempest.' Tyler succeeds in creating a world we believe in...Charming...Clever. Boston Globe
  • A perfect read. New York Post
  • Vinegar Girl” is a fast, easy read…Held side-by-side against Shakespeare's Shrew, the story of Kate and Pyotr is full of hidden treasures. Houston Chronicle
  • “Vinegar Girl has the requisite Tyler trademarks…the characters populating Vinegar Girl are flawed, quirky, likable, self-indulgent and astute. St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • Shakespeare... would be pleased, I am sure... 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
  • [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
  • [An] ingenious resetting... with considerably more humor and gentleness than in the Bard’s version. Washington Post
  • “Shakespeare…would be pleased, I am sure."

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Knockabout comedy at its best, genuinely laugh-out-loud funny and, indeed, may be [Tyler’s] funniest book to date.”

    Daily Mail (London)

  • "[An] ingenious resetting…with considerably more humor and gentleness than in the Bard’s version.”

    Washington Post

  • “An effective retelling, while nodding to the original text, stands on its own as a story…Charming…[and] clever”

    Boston Globe

  • “[A] great success; Vinegar Girl is funny and endearing, the quirky characters vintage Tyler.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • “[A] screwball comedy of manners that actually channels Jane Austen more than Shakespeare…A fizzy cocktail of a romantic comedy, far more sweet than acidic, about finding a mate who appreciates you for your idiosyncratic, principled self.”

    NPR.org

  • “With the characteristic light touch of her twenty previous novels, Tyler plausibly depicts the halting evolution of Kate and Pyotr’s relationship.”

    BookPage

  • “Narrator Kirsten Potter makes Tyler’s modern-day Kate likable and appropriately quick-witted and sharp-tongued…[and] maintains the sardonic tone.”

    AudioFile

  • A June 2016 LibraryReads Pick
  • An Indie Next List Pick for July 2016 
  • A BookPage Top Pick for July 2016
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A New York Times Bestseller
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