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Elizabeth Strout

Författare till Olive Kitteridge

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Om författaren

Elizabeth Strout (born January 6, 1956) is an American author of fiction. She was born in Portland, Maine. After graduating from Bates College, she spent a year in Oxford, England. In 1982 she graduated with honors, and received both a law degree from the Syracuse University College of Law and a visa mer Certificate of Gerontology from the Syracuse School of Social Work. Strout wrote Amy and Isabelle over the course of six or seven years, which when published was shortlisted for the 2000 Orange Prize and nominated for the 2000 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. Amy and Isabelle was made into a television movie starring Elisabeth Shue and was produced by Oprah Winfrey's studio, Harpo Films. Strout was a NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) professor at Colgate University during the Fall Semester of 2007, where she taught creative writing. She was also on the faculty of the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 2009 Strout was honored with a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for Olive Kitteridge, a collection of connected short stories she wrote about a woman and her immediate family who lived on the coast of Maine. Strout also wrote The Burgess Boys in 2013 which made The New York Times Best Seller List. Ms. Strout's title, My name is Lucy Barton, made the New York Times Best Seller List in 2016. Her newest title, Anything is Possible (2017), won the 2018 Story Prize. (Bowker Author Biography) visa färre


Verk av Elizabeth Strout

Olive Kitteridge (2008) 9,683 exemplar
Mitt namn är Lucy Barton (2016) 3,530 exemplar
The Burgess Boys (2013) 2,337 exemplar
Amy och Isabelle (1998) 2,164 exemplar
Olive, igen (2019) 1,950 exemplar
Anything Is Possible (2017) 1,841 exemplar
Oh William! (2021) 1,333 exemplar
Abide with Me (2006) 1,328 exemplar
Lucy by the Sea (2022) 874 exemplar
The Best American Short Stories 2013 (2013) — Redaktör — 267 exemplar
A Different Road 1 exemplar
The Fort 1 exemplar
The Family Fortune 1 exemplar
The Burgess Boys 1 exemplar

Associerade verk

The Beautiful Summer (1940) — Inledning, vissa utgåvor553 exemplar
Ethan Frome / Summer (1982) — Inledning, vissa utgåvor290 exemplar
The Best American Mystery Stories 2008 (2008) — Bidragsgivare — 166 exemplar
It Occurs to Me That I Am America: New Stories and Art (2018) — Bidragsgivare — 70 exemplar
Providence Noir (2015) — Bidragsgivare — 44 exemplar
Dream Me Home Safely: Writers on Growing Up in America (2003) — Bidragsgivare — 38 exemplar
The Stories of Frederick Busch (2013) — Redaktör, vissa utgåvor35 exemplar


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Allmänna fakta

Portland, Maine, USA
Portland, Maine, USA
New York, New York, USA
Durham, New Hampshire, USA
Brunswick, Maine, USA
Bates College (BA, 1977)
Syracuse University (JD, 1982)
faculty (MFA program, Queens University)
fiction writer
lecturer (Creative Writing ∙ Colgate University)
Queens University of Charlotte
Molly Friedrich (Aaron Priest Literary Agency)
Kort biografi
Elizabeth Strout (born January 6, 1956) is a US-American novelist and author. She is widely known for her works in literary fiction and her descriptive characterization. Born and raised in Portland, Maine, her experiences in her youth served as inspiration for her novels–the fictional "Shirley Falls, Maine" is the setting of four of her seven novels.

Strout's first novel, Amy and Isabelle (1998) met with widespread critical acclaim, became a national bestseller, and was adapted into a movie starring Elisabeth Shue. Her second novel, Abide with Me (2006), received critical acclaim but ultimately failed to be recognized to the extent of her debut novel. Two years later, Strout wrote and published Olive Kitteridge (2008), to critical and commercial success grossing nearly $25 million with over one million copies sold as of May 2017. The novel won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The book was adapted into a multi Emmy Award-winning mini series and became a New York Times bestseller.

Five years later, she published The Burgess Boys (2013), which became a national bestseller. My Name Is Lucy Barton (2016) was met with international acclaim and topped the New York Times bestseller list. Lucy Barton later became the main character in Strout's 2017 novel, Anything is Possible. A sequel to Olive Kitteridge, titled Olive, Again, was published in 2019.



Elizabeth Strout has brought Olive back to us. Olive is old now and I am older too. Olive in turn attacks old age, defies it, questions it, mocks it but eventually appears to grasp what it truly envolves. We also experience it through short biographies of some townsfolk’s which were all rather interesting but I was always happy when the author returned to Olive.
As Olives grapples with loneliness and the physicality of aging, I’m right along side her cheering her on. I hope I’ll have someone routing for me one day.… (mer)
Smits | 120 andra recensioner | Nov 26, 2023 |
This short novel has made me want to rewrite everything I’ve ever tried to write. Somehow Stroud manages to NOT say things so powerfully fully half of the time I was reading this book I was awash in memories of my own, trying to tease out the wisdom to be found there.
That said, by the end I was gnashing my teeth a bit- I wanted more detail about what was happening in Lucy’s life- why didn’t her daughters visit her in the hospital? Were her mother’s stories about marriages gone bad a warning about Lucy’s absent husband? How would she have known anything about Lucy’s family, given they never seemed to interact?
Trauma is rarely so well-illustrated in text and this book is remarkable for that, for the way Stroud brushes light touches of tragedy across seemingly benign scenes. When Lucy’s father is dying and comments about what a good girl she was, her sister leaves the room. That line alone says so much about families…and Lucy’s family in particular.
A high residue book. I’ll be thinking about this one for a long time.
Not sure if I’m grateful for that…
… (mer)
Dabble58 | 270 andra recensioner | Nov 11, 2023 |
New York Times bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout brings back Lucy Barton, the enduring character she introduced in My Name is Lucy Barton. She appeared again in Anything Is Possible and Oh William!, the book she had barely completed when the COVID-19 pandemic began. “Lucy and William were just so much in my head. I thought: OK, let’s have him take her up to the coast of Maine, and stick them on this cliff and see what happens,” Strout says. She emphasizes that making the setting different than that of Oh William! was a specific choice. In Oh William!, they are in a more northern, inland part of Maine. In Lucy by the Sea, they are “literally by the sea which is a very different sort of vibe. . . . I pictured them at the end of a point high up on a cliff in a house. And there they are.” The two novels “work together,” she adds. “I see them as a continuation of each other,” even though Strout never intended to write a series of books featuring the same characters. “But these people are so real to me that I keep wanting to write about them in their new situations or where they might be now, so I just keep going back to them.”

Strout and her fictional heroine have a great deal in common. They are the same age, Lucy is also a novelist, and they have both been married twice. Strout has an adult daughter (while Lucy has two, Chrissy and Becka). It’s a case of art imitating life as Strout and her husband permanently relocated from Manhattan to Brunswick, Maine, during the pandemic. “We share many traits, but I’m not her,” Strout stresses, adding that she really doesn’t care about what people think, “so if people think that, that’s fine. But it is not true.”

Once again, the story is related in Lucy’s distinctive voice. In typical Lucy style, the narrative is somewhat disjointed, repetitive, stuttering, and awkward. But it is also honest, raw, and deeply insightful. The novel is crafted much like a series of diary entries, with Lucy, now sixty-six years old, relating what happens to her and her seventy-two-year-old ex-husband, William Gerhardt. He is a parasitologist to whom she was married for twenty years, but they have been divorced for nearly as long. In the interim, Lucy was happily married to David, a cellist, who died, and William has been married and divorced twice, most recently from his much younger third wife, Estelle, with whom he has a daughter, Bridget. In Oh William!, they journeyed together to Maine after William discovered via an ancestry website that he had a half-sister, Lois Bubar, residing there. William also learned that his mother’s life had actually been much different than he had been led to believe. Although Lucy met Lois, William’s half-sister had no desire to meet or interact with him. Two months after they returned from Maine, Lucy agreed to travel to Grand Cayman with William, believing that he “must have been plunged into some sort of midlife crisis, or older man crisis,” considering all that he had recently been through — divorce, Estelle taking ten-year-old Bridget to live with her, and being rejected by Lois. After their three-day vacation, they returned to New York and Lucy embarked on a book tour to promote her new novel.

But she disappointed her publisher by canceling a trip to Italy and Germany that was scheduled in early March 2020. Which is when William begs their daughters, Chrissy and Becka, to leave their Brooklyn homes, and convinces Lucy to return with him to the little town of Crosby on the coast of Maine where he has rented a house from Bob Burgess, the ex-husband of the woman with whom William had an on-again, off-again affair for years while married to Lucy. Lucy relates that she, unlike her scientist ex-husband, was unable to predict what the world was on the precipice of experiencing and reluctant to leave the city. She packed only a few things, thinking she would be spending just a couple of weeks in Maine, returning to New York City when things improved. At the outset, readers will identify with Lucy’s bewilderment, confusion, and naivete about the potential severity and length of the pandemic that was just beginning. “I did not know that I would never see my apartment again. I did not know that one of my friends and a family member would die of this virus. I did not know that my relationship with my daughters would change in ways I could never have anticipated. I did not know that my entire life would become something new.”

The book details the events that unfold as the world goes into lockdown, the virus claims lives, teleworking becomes the norm for millions, and isolation takes a heavy toll on relationships. Chrissy and her husband, Michael, an asthmatic, escape to his parents’ Connecticut home (they are staying in Florida), but Becka, a social worker, and her husband, Trey, an adjunct professor of poetry at New York University, opt to remain in Brooklyn. Both end up working at home.

Lucy shares her innermost thoughts and feelings as she and William settle into a house she does not like in a place that she deems far too cold. She is restless and has trouble concentrating, so finds herself unable to read books or write. She naps every afternoon and feels disoriented when she awakens. She and William spend a lot of time taking walks — separately and together – because there is little else for them to do in that remote location while completely isolated. They also become addicted to watching the news to hear about the latest developments. But like so many people, Lucy is unable to fully comprehend what is happening, even as the Surgeon General issues dire warnings and Broadway goes dark. Not all locals welcome New Yorkers, which frightens Lucy.

Lucy describes having always felt invisible in the world and the ways in which living in isolation with William exacerbates her anxiety, especially her worry that her daughters might catch the virus and not survive. But she develops a close friendship with Bob Burgess, who is now married to Margaret, a minister. They take frequent walks together and have meaningful conversations. Lucy is flattered to learn that he has read her book and heartened to realize that he truly understood it. She feels seen which is so important to her. His company eases the loneliness she feels, particularly since William often seems distant, not really listening to her. She especially misses David who seems “even more gone to me somehow.” She does not speak of mourning David because William likes to fix things, but “grief is a private thing.” Lucy understands that grieving is a solitary experience that must be endured alone.

Gradually, Lucy comes to see that “William had been right to bring me up here,” and they fall into a comfortable routine that includes enjoying meals that William prepares, taking drives, and hours-long conversations. And hear about the challenges Chrissy and Becka face from afar, unable to be with them in person to lend support. Lucy misses her daughters viscerally, sometimes feeling abandoned and convinced that Becka, in particular, is avoiding her. But she’s grateful for William’s ingenuity and resourcefulness as he finds ways to assist their daughters remotely.

William reveals life events that he has not previously shared with Lucy or their daughters. They grow closer, referring to each other by the nicknames they used when married — she is “Button” and he is “Pillie” — but William still gets on Lucy’s nerves from time to time. She is genuinely touched when he tells her, with great emotion, “Lucy, yours is the life I wanted to save. My own life I care very little about these days, except I know the girls still depend on me, especially Bridget; she is still just a kid. But, Lucy, if you should die from this, it would . . . I only wanted to save your life.” And Lucy rejoices with William when a disappointing situation happily resolves and is pleased that he finds new work to do in conjunction with the local university.

Still, as the days and months drag on, Lucy does not know exactly how she feels about William, even though she observes that, at times, “I am not unhappy.” For her, it is “weird to be with William — except that it wasn’t always weird” as they live together in a sort of limbo, wondering when they might be able to return to New York and how long it will be until things get better. In the summer, they watch news accounts of George Floyd’s murder and worry about the protests taking place around the country. People they love get the virus and some survive, while others do not. Lucy suffers physical symptoms of stress, but eventually begins venturing out a bit more, which helps her state of mind. The Presidential election takes place in November 2020, they watch in horror as the U.S. Capitol comes under attack on January 6, 2021. (“There was deep, deep unrest in the country and the whisperings of a civil war seemed to move around me like a breeze I could not quite feel but could sense.”) At last, the COVID vaccine becomes available in early 2021. Strout effectively demonstrates the various ways in which external happenings penetrate the metaphorical cocoon to which Lucy and William have retreated, and the ways world events intrude upon and impact Lucy’s already fragile psyche.

As the world slowly begins returning to some semblance of normalcy, Lucy makes momentous decisions and is surprised by the choices William makes. Lucy continues engaging in introspection about their lives and everything that led to their being in isolation together in that quaint house on the Maine coast.

Lucy by the Sea is another rich meditation on relationships, family, the impact of isolation, and importance of connectedness. Strout again brings Lucy and William to life with seemingly effortlessness, imbuing everyday occurrences with symbolism and meaning. Her writing is deceptively simple and sneakily impactful. She examines the ways in which their relationship endures over time, despite the pain they have inflicted on each other through the years. Strout also illustrates their daughters’ reactions to their parents spending time together and the evolution of their long relationship, as Chrissy and Becka endure their own life-altering traumas. In Lucy by the Sea, both daughters are now fully grown young women living their own lives, and Strout deftly shows both the ways in which the pandemic effects their lives and Lucy’s coming to understand fully that her children are now adults who “want to be heard” and design their lives on their own terms.

Strout says she sought to illustrate that during the pandemic lockdowns, “there was no time, all the days just melded into one. I was trying to get that sense of disorientation on to the page.” Although she maintains that was the hardest part of writing the book, she succeeds beautifully. Lucy by the Sea proceeds at a steady pace yet feels a bit untethered and meandering, just as life felt during that surreal era because of both the pandemic and the growing divisions among U.S. citizens. When Lucy finally finds inspiration for a new book and resumes writing, she worries that her story cannot be published because of the subject matter and the ideology of her main character. For Strout, that was “a real commentary on the times that we’re living in.”

Strout observes that Lucy is now, like her daughters, fully grown up. And she at last realizes that she is, like her daughters, being fully heard. She asks herself questions and contemplates issues that she would not have had the maturity to address previously. Strout says that was not a conscious choice on her part. “I am trying every second that I’m writing to be inside Lucy’s head. . . . I concentrate as deeply as I can to think, ‘What is it like to be Lucy right now?’” And Lucy continuously surprised her as she was penning the novel.

Once again, Strout has crafted a straight-forward, but deeply affecting, contemplative story featuring beloved characters whose decisions and choices will be as surprising to readers as they were to Strout as they appeared on the pages. Lucy by the Sea is poignant, thought-provoking, and relatable on numerous levels. It is another masterfully crafted novel from one of America’s best storytellers.

Thanks to NetGalley for an Advance Reader's Copy of the book.
… (mer)
JHSColloquium | 60 andra recensioner | Nov 10, 2023 |
Disappearing into the familiar mental landscape of Lucy Barton (this is Strout’s fourth book around her), but this time in 2020-2021.
What is strange as I look back is how I simply did not know what was happening.
I’m grateful for this further instalment, this further exploration of Lucy Barton. And it’s also a good record of the strangeness of the Covid pandemic.
CarltonC | 60 andra recensioner | Nov 1, 2023 |


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