Books: In Praise of Lives Without Life-Styles BREATHING LESSONS

by Anne Tyler; Knopf; 327 pages; $18.95

In the literary marketplace, "breakthrough books" are the ones that finally get what publishers like to refer to as the audience their authors deserve. Breakthroughs also mean big enough sales to justify past advances for all those critically successful though financially disappointing books that had to be remaindered. But not every good writer produces bulldozers. Anne Tyler has only dented the best-seller lists. She has a loyal following of reviewers as well as general readers. But one does not think of her as a breakthrough writer. After eleven novels, she just grows on you.

Since her first book, If Morning Ever...

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