Vinegar Girl: A Novel

Vinegar Girl: A Novel

by Anne Tyler


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Pulitzer Prize winner and American master Anne Tyler brings us an inspired, witty and irresistible contemporary take on one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies.
Kate Battista feels stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and uppity, pretty younger sister Bunny? Plus, she’s always in trouble at work – her pre-school charges adore her, but their parents don’t always appreciate her unusual opinions and forthright manner. 

Dr. Battista has other problems. After years out 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, all would be lost.

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. But will she be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to bring her around?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804141284
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/28/2017
Series: Hogarth Shakespeare Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 54,563
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Anne Tyler is the author of twenty bestselling novels. She was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She graduated at nineteen from Duke University and went on to do graduate work in Russian studies at Columbia University. A Spool of Blue Thread, Anne Tyler’s New York Times bestselling twentieth novel, was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize; her eleventh novel, Breathing Lessons, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Vinegar Girl sees Anne Tyler going behind the scenes of one of Shakespeare’s most controversial yet enduring (Kiss Me Kate, 10 Things I Hate About You) plays: "You how know sometimes a friend will tell you something that happened to her, and you think wait, there must be more to it than that, I’m sure there’s another side to this. Well, that’s how I’ve always felt about The Taming of the Shrew."


Baltimore, Maryland

Date of Birth:

October 25, 1941

Place of Birth:

Minneapolis, Minnesota


B.A., Duke University, 1961

Read an Excerpt


Excerpted from "Vinegar Girl"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Anne Tyler.
Excerpted by permission of Crown/Archetype.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Reading Group Guide

In order to provide reading groups with the most informed and thought-provoking questions possible, it is necessary to reveal certain aspects of the story in this novel. If you have not finished reading Vinegar Girl, we respectfully suggest that you do so before reviewing this guide.

1. Compare and contrast Tyler’s Vinegar Girl with Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew.

2. Do you think Tyler’s Kate was less of a “shrew” than Shakespeare’s Katherine?

3. Discuss Kate and Pyotr’s first meeting. Did you think there was a connection or chemistry there from the beginning?

4. Did you like how Tyler transformed the misogynistic Petruchio to the quirky Pyotr? Do you think he was a good match for her sarcastic Kate?

5. Kate is unsatisfied with her life at home and at work, but has done nothing to change her situation. Do you think her father strong suggestion to marry Pyotr was actually what she needed to change her life?

6. Discuss the character of Bunny and the role she plays in Kate’s life.

7. Tyler is a master writer when it comes to depicting family relationships. Discuss the family dynamic in Vinegar Girl. Do you think all families struggle with the balance of acting selfishly and selflessly?

8. Were you surprised when Kate was so upset when Pyotr does not show up to the church on time?

9. Discuss Kate’s speech at the end of the novel. Do you agree with her?

10. What was your reaction to the story’s Epilogue? Is that how you imagined Kates’ life to turn out?

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