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About Elizabeth Strout
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“Strout managed to make me love this strange woman I’d never met, who I knew nothing about. What a terrific writer she is.”—Zadie Smith, The Guardian
“Just as wonderful as the original . . . Olive, Again poignantly reminds us that empathy, a requirement for love, helps make life ‘not unhappy.’”—NPR
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY PEOPLE AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Time • Vogue • NPR • The Washington Post • Chicago Tribune • Vanity Fair • Entertainment Weekly • BuzzFeed • Esquire • Real Simple • Good Housekeeping • The New York Public Library • The Guardian • Evening Standard • Kirkus Reviews • Publishers Weekly • BookPage
Prickly, wry, resistant to change yet ruthlessly honest and deeply empathetic, Olive Kitteridge is “a compelling life force” (San Francisco Chronicle). The New Yorker has said that Elizabeth Strout “animates the ordinary with an astonishing force,” and she has never done so more clearly than in these pages, where the iconic Olive struggles to understand not only herself and her own life but the lives of those around her in the town of Crosby, Maine. Whether with a teenager coming to terms with the loss of her father, a young woman about to give birth during a hilariously inopportune moment, a nurse who confesses a secret high school crush, or a lawyer who struggles with an inheritance she does not want to accept, the unforgettable Olive will continue to startle us, to move us, and to inspire us—in Strout’s words—“to bear the burden of the mystery with as much grace as we can.”
Praise for Olive, Again
“Olive is a brilliant creation not only because of her eternal cantankerousness but because she’s as brutally candid with herself about her shortcomings as she is with others. Her honesty makes people strangely willing to confide in her, and the raw power of Ms. Strout’s writing comes from these unvarnished exchanges, in which characters reveal themselves in all of their sadness and badness and confusion. . . . The great, terrible mess of living is spilled out across the pages of this moving book. Ms. Strout may not have any answers for it, but she isn’t afraid of it either.”—The Wall Street Journal
In a voice more powerful and compassionate than ever before, New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Strout binds together thirteen rich, luminous narratives into a book with the heft of a novel, through the presence of one larger-than-life, unforgettable character: Olive Kitteridge.
At the edge of the continent, Crosby, Maine, may seem like nowhere, but seen through this brilliant writer’s eyes, it’s in essence the whole world, and the lives that are lived there are filled with all of the grand human drama–desire, despair, jealousy, hope, and love.
At times stern, at other times patient, at times perceptive, at other times in sad denial, Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, deplores the changes in her little town and in the world at large, but she doesn’t always recognize the changes in those around her: a lounge musician haunted by a past romance: a former student who has lost the will to live: Olive’s own adult child, who feels tyrannized by her irrational sensitivities; and Henry, who finds his loyalty to his marriage both a blessing and a curse.
As the townspeople grapple with their problems, mild and dire, Olive is brought to a deeper understanding of herself and her life–sometimes painfully, but always with ruthless honesty. Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition–its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY
People • USA Today • The Atlantic • The Washington Post Book World • Seattle Post-Intelligencer • Entertainment Weekly • The Christian Science Monitor • San Francisco Chronicle • Salon • San Antonio Express-News • Chicago Tribune • The Wall Street Journal
“Perceptive, deeply empathetic . . . Olive is the axis around which these thirteen complex, relentlessly human narratives spin themselves into Elizabeth Strout’s unforgettable novel in stories.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“Fiction lovers, remember this name: Olive Kitteridge. . . . You’ll never forget her. . . . [Elizabeth Strout] constructs her stories with rich irony and moments of genuine surprise and intense emotion. . . . Glorious, powerful stuff.”—USA Today
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Elizabeth Strout’s The Burgess Boys.
Soon to be a Broadway play starring Laura Linney produced by Manhattan Theatre Club and London Theatre Company • LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • The New York Times Book Review • NPR • BookPage • LibraryReads • Minneapolis Star Tribune • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn’t spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy’s childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy’s life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable.
Praise for My Name Is Lucy Barton
“A quiet, sublimely merciful contemporary novel about love, yearning, and resilience in a family damaged beyond words.”—The Boston Globe
“It is Lucy’s gentle honesty, complex relationship with her husband, and nuanced response to her mother’s shortcomings that make this novel so subtly powerful.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“A short novel about love, particularly the complicated love between mothers and daughters, but also simpler, more sudden bonds . . . It evokes these connections in a style so spare, so pure and so profound the book almost seems to be a kind of scripture or sutra, if a very down-to-earth and unpretentious one.”—Newsday
“Spectacular . . . Smart and cagey in every way. It is both a book of withholdings and a book of great openness and wisdom. . . . [Strout] is in supreme and magnificent command of this novel at all times.”—Lily King, The Washington Post
“An aching, illuminating look at mother-daughter devotion.”—People
Winner of The Story Prize • A Washington Post and New York Times Notable Book • One of USA Today’s top 10 books of the year
Recalling Olive Kitteridge in its richness, structure, and complexity, Anything Is Possible explores the whole range of human emotion through the intimate dramas of people struggling to understand themselves and others.
Here are two sisters: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband while the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. The janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help; a grown daughter longs for mother love even as she comes to accept her mother’s happiness in a foreign country; and the adult Lucy Barton (the heroine of My Name Is Lucy Barton, the author’s celebrated New York Times bestseller) returns to visit her siblings after seventeen years of absence.
Reverberating with the deep bonds of family, and the hope that comes with reconciliation, Anything Is Possible again underscores Elizabeth Strout’s place as one of America’s most respected and cherished authors.
Praise for Anything Is Possible
“When Elizabeth Strout is on her game, is there anybody better? . . . This is a generous, wry book about everyday lives, and Strout crawls so far inside her characters you feel you inhabit them. . . . This is a book that earns its title. Try reading it without tears, or wonder.”—USA Today (four stars)
“Readers who loved My Name Is Lucy Barton . . . are in for a real treat. . . . Strout is a master of the story cycle form. . . . She paints cumulative portraits of the heartache and soul of small-town America by giving each of her characters a turn under her sympathetic spotlight.”—NPR
“These stories return Strout to the core of what she does more magnanimously than anyone else.”—The Washington Post
“In this wise and accomplished book, pain and healing exist in perpetual dependence, like feuding siblings.”—The Wall Street Journal
“A novel of shining integrity and humor, about the bravery and hard choices of what is called ordinary life.”—Alice Munro
Pulitzer Prize winning author Elizabeth Strout’s bestselling and award winning debut, Amy and Isabelle—adapted for television by Oprah Winfrey— evokes a teenager's alienation from her distant mother—and a parent's rage at the discovery of her daughter's sexual secrets.
In most ways, Isabelle and Amy are like any mother and her 16-year-old daughter, a fierce mix of love and loathing exchanged in their every glance. That they eat, sleep, and work side by side in the gossip-ridden mill town of Shirley Falls—a location fans of Strout will recognize from her critically acclaimed novel, The Burgess Boys—only increases the tension. And just when it appears things can't get any worse, Amy's sexuality begins to unfold, causing a vast and icy rift between mother and daughter that will remain unbridgeable unless Isabelle examines her own secretive and shameful past.
A Reader's Guide is included in the paperback edition of this powerful first novel by the author who brought Olive Kitteridge to millions of readers.
In the late 1950s, in a small New England town, Reverend Tyler Caskey has suffered a terrible loss and finds it hard to be the person he once was. He struggles to find the right words in his sermons and in his conversations with those facing crises of their own, and to bring his five-year-old daughter, Katherine, out of the silence she has observed in the wake of the family’s tragedy. Tyler’s usually patient and kind congregation now questions his leadership and propriety, and accusations are born out of anger and gossip. Then, in Tyler’s darkest hour, a startling discovery will test his parish’s humanity—and his own will to endure the trials that sooner or later test us all.
Praise for Abide With Me
“Strout’s greatly anticipated second novel . . . is an answered prayer.”—Vanity Fair
“Deeply moving . . . In one beautiful page after another, Strout captures the mysterious combinations of hope and sorrow. She sees all these wounded people with heartbreaking clarity, but she has managed to write a story that cradles them in understanding and that, somehow, seems like a foretaste of salvation.”—The Washington Post
“Graceful and moving . . . The pacing of Strout’s deeply felt fiction about the distance between parents and children gives her work an addictive quality.”—People (four stars)
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • NPR • Good Housekeeping
Elizabeth Strout “animates the ordinary with an astonishing force,” wrote The New Yorker on the publication of her Pulitzer Prize–winning Olive Kitteridge. The San Francisco Chronicle praised Strout’s “magnificent gift for humanizing characters.” Now the acclaimed author returns with a stunning novel as powerful and moving as any work in contemporary literature.
Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a Legal Aid attorney who idolizes Jim, has always taken it in stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan—the Burgess sibling who stayed behind—urgently calls them home. Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has gotten himself into a world of trouble, and Susan desperately needs their help. And so the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever.
With a rare combination of brilliant storytelling, exquisite prose, and remarkable insight into character, Elizabeth Strout has brought to life two deeply human protagonists whose struggles and triumphs will resonate with readers long after they turn the final page. Tender, tough-minded, loving, and deeply illuminating about the ties that bind us to family and home, The Burgess Boys is Elizabeth Strout’s newest and perhaps most astonishing work of literary art.
Praise for The Burgess Boys
“What truly makes Strout exceptional . . . is the perfect balance she achieves between the tides of story and depths of feeling.”—Chicago Tribune
“Strout’s prose propels the story forward with moments of startlingly poetic clarity.”—The New Yorker
“Elizabeth Strout’s first two books, Abide with Me and Amy and Isabelle, were highly thought of, and her third, Olive Kitteridge, won the Pulitzer Prize in fiction. But The Burgess Boys, her most recent novel, is her best yet.”—The Boston Globe
In “Miss Lora,” Junot Díaz masterfully puts us in the mind of a teenage boy who throws aside his better sense and pursues an intimate affair with a high school teacher. Sheila Kohler tackles innocence and abuse as a child wanders away from her mother, in thrall to a stranger she believes is the “Magic Man.” Kirstin Valdez Quade’s “Nemecia” depicts the after-effects of a secret, violent family trauma. Joan Wickersham’s “The Tunnel” is a tragic love story about a mother’s declining health and her daughter’s helplessness as she struggles to balance her responsibility to her mother and her own desires. New author Callan Wink’s “Breatharians” unsettles the reader as a farm boy shoulders a grim chore in the wake of his parents’ estrangement.
“Elizabeth Strout was a wonderful reader, an author who knows well that the sound of one’s writing is just as important as and indivisible from the content,” writes series editor Heidi Pitlor. “Here are twenty compellingly told, powerfully felt stories about urgent matters with profound consequences.”
Crosby, eine kleine Stadt an der Küste von Maine. Hier ist nicht gerade sehr viel los. Doch sieht man einmal genauer hin, ist jeder Mensch eine Geschichte und Crosby die ganze Welt. Elizabeth Strout fügt diese Geschichten mit liebevoller Ironie und feinem Gespür für Zwischenmenschliches zu einem unvergesslichen Roman.
Sie kann manchmal eine rechte Nervensäge sein: Olive Kitteridge, die pensionierte Lehrerin. Weil sie zu allem, was in dem Städtchen Crosby geschieht, eine dezidierte Meinung hat, halten sie einige für überkritisch. Dann wieder überrascht sie durch Selbstlosigkeit und Mitgefühl. Sie mischt sich ein und macht sich ihre Gedanken über ihre Mitmenschen: die schrille Barpianistin, die insgeheim einer verlorenen Liebe nachtrauert, einen ehemaligen Schüler, der keinen Sinn mehr im Leben sieht, ihren eigenen Sohn, der sich von ihren Empfindlichkeiten bevormundet fühlt, ihren Mann Henry, der die Ehe mit ihr nicht nur als Segen, sondern manchmal auch als Fluch empfindet. Und während sich die Menschen in Crosby mit ihrem ganz normalen Leben herumschlagen, den Problemen wie den Freuden, lernt Olive auf ihre alten Tage, das Leben zu lieben.
Elizabeth Strouts Roman erzählt von Liebe und Kummer, von Toleranz und Aufbegehren. »Mit Blick aufs Meer« ist ein weises und anrührendes Buch über die Natur des Menschen in all seiner Verletzlichkeit und Stärke, erfrischend ehrlich und unglaublich schön.
In Crosby, einer kleinen Stadt an der Küste von Maine, ist nicht viel los. Und doch enthalten die Geschichten über das Leben der Menschen dort die ganze Welt. Da ist Olive Kitteridge, pensionierte Lehrerin, die sich auch mit siebzig noch in alles einmischt, so barsch wie eh und je. Da ist Jack Kennison, einst Harvardprofessor, der ihre Nähe sucht. Beide vermissen ihre Kinder, die ihnen fremd geworden sind, woran Olive und Jack selbst nicht gerade unschuldig sind … Ein bewegender Roman, der von Liebe und Verlust erzählt, vom Altern und der Einsamkeit, von Momenten des Glücks und des Staunens.
Tyler Caskey è una presenza insolita per la comunità di West Annett: è giovane e i suoi sermoni sono brillanti, frutto di una preparazione e di una sensibilità fuori dal comune. Ed è diverso dalle precedenti guide spirituali che i fedeli hanno conosciuto perché ha carisma e una moglie di grande bellezza e sensualità accanto. Quasi uno schiaffo di vitalità per tutta la cittadina. Eppure un giorno tutto può cambiare, l’attrazione trasformarsi in sospetto e maldicenza. La giovane signora Caskey muore. Una morte che travolge il marito e le loro bambine in modo irreversibile. La figlia maggiore, Katherine, di appena cinque anni, smette di parlare chiudendosi in un silenzio impenetrabile; Tyler non trova più le parole adatte in chiesa, né alcuna misericordia per chi si rivela ottuso, arido, distante. Cosa resta, quindi, del conforto religioso? Poco o niente, se di fronte alla fragilità di un lutto che si apre come una voragine nessuno riesce a compenetrarsi nel dolore altrui, se le meschinità di un quotidiano prosciugato di ogni calore si moltiplicano tra le mille illazioni che corrono lungo i fili del telefono propagando sciocche storie di adulterio o di malattia mentale. È vero, sono i conformisti anni Cinquanta, e West Annett è nel Maine, una terra di antichi pionieri rigidamente protestanti. Ma Resta con me si dilata oltre ogni confine e ci conduce nelle pieghe più oscure dei rapporti affettivi, lì dove ogni perdita può rivoluzionare una vita. Scendere, per risalire più in alto: questa è Elizabeth Strout, nella sua scrittura puntuale, nei chiaroscuri emozionali, e in quello sguardo sul mondo nel quale dilaga ancora, inaspettata e dunque più preziosa, l’eco di un’imperscrutabile salvezza.
«Una delle voci più alte dell’odierna letteratura americana».
Leonetta Bentivoglio, «la Repubblica»
«Ottimo romanzo dietro il quale si intravede l’influenza dei classici europei e americani dell’Ottocento. Un libro eccellente, curatissimo in ogni dettaglio, imperdibile per chi ama una narrativa di impianto classico».
Roberto Bertinetti, «Il Sole 24 Ore»
«Io la Strout l’adoro. Scrive come un grande romanziere dell’Ottocento catapultato nel Maine».
«Una narratrice straordinaria».
Caterina Soffici, «Vanity Fair»