It's extremely rare for 70-year-old Anne Tyler to give a verbal interview—when we spoke with her in 2004, it was via email—but she's granted her first one in decades to NPR's Lynn Neary. (Click to listen)

"I don't have that much to say, so I figure about every 35 years will do it, right? It does make me very self-conscious when I go back to writing, after I talk about writing," she says, as she and Neary go on a tour of Baltimore, Tyler's adopted hometown and the setting of many of her novels, including The Beginner's Goodbye (Knopf), which goes on sale next week. (Read our review)

She reads from the novel, which offers a "glimpse into personal loss limned with an unexpectedly bright future," says our reviewer Deborah Donovan, and reveals that this will not be her final book. She's writing a "sprawling family saga that goes on and on," so she can be in the middle of a book forever.


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