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About Elizabeth Strout
Elizabeth Strout is the author of the New York Times bestseller Olive Kitteridge, for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize; the national bestseller Abide with Me; and Amy and Isabelle, winner of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in London. She lives in Maine and New York City.
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ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air • ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Time, Vulture, She Reads
“Elizabeth Strout is one of my very favorite writers, so the fact that Oh William! may well be my favorite of her books is a mathematical equation for joy. The depth, complexity, and love contained in these pages is a miraculous achievement.”—Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House
I would like to say a few things about my first husband, William.
Lucy Barton is a writer, but her ex-husband, William, remains a hard man to read. William, she confesses, has always been a mystery to me. Another mystery is why the two have remained connected after all these years. They just are.
So Lucy is both surprised and not surprised when William asks her to join him on a trip to investigate a recently uncovered family secret—one of those secrets that rearrange everything we think we know about the people closest to us. What happens next is nothing less than another example of what Hilary Mantel has called Elizabeth Strout’s “perfect attunement to the human condition.” There are fears and insecurities, simple joys and acts of tenderness, and revelations about affairs and other spouses, parents and their children. On every page of this exquisite novel we learn more about the quiet forces that hold us together—even after we’ve grown apart.
At the heart of this story is the indomitable voice of Lucy Barton, who offers a profound, lasting reflection on the very nature of existence. “This is the way of life,” Lucy says: “the many things we do not know until it is too late.”
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
“This book, this writer, are magnificent.”—Ann Patchett
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.
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.
“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.
“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 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)
This edition includes an original essay by Elizabeth Strout about the origins of The Burgess Boys.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • NPR • Good Housekeeping
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 perhaps Elizabeth Strout’s most astonishing work of literary art.
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.”
Elizabeth Strout, ganadora del Premio Pulitzer y el Premi Llibreter, con tres millones y medio de lectores, recupera a su icónica protagonista, Lucy Barton, en un libro del que no se sale, hermoso, doloroso, irónico y profundo como las historias de Lucia Berlin o Alice Munro.
Uno de los mejores libros del año según The Times y uno de los diez libros más esperados de 2022 según Esquire y Telva
«Esta mujer que tanto me ha dado llenando mis horas de insomnio.»
«Elizabeth Strout se consagra como la más magistral alumna de John Cheever y James Salter.»
Inesperadamente, Lucy Barton se convierte en confidente y apoyo de William, su exmarido, el hombre con el que ha tenido dos hijas ya adultas, pero que ahora es casi un desconocido presa de terrores nocturnos y empecinado en desvelar el secreto de su madre.
Mientras su nuevo matrimonio tambalea, William quiere que Lucy lo acompañe en un viaje del que no volverá a ser el mismo. ¿Cuántos sentimientos –celos, piedad, temor, ternura, decepción, extrañeza– caben en un matrimonio, incluso cuando ha terminado –si tal cosa es posible–? Y en el centro de esta historia, la voz indomable de Lucy Barton, su reflexión profunda y perenne sobre nuestra propia existencia: «Así es como funciona la vida. Todo lo que no sabemos hasta que ya es demasiado tarde».
La crítica ha dicho:
«Cada libro suyo es esperado como agua de mayo por quienes han probado el estilo sutil de sus novelas, capaz de encontrar una epifanía en las historias más corrientes. Ay, William es un paso más para esta heredera del realismo norteamericano de Lucia Berlin y Alice Munro. Una indagación en los sentimientos complejos y ambivalentes de un matrimonio, incluso cuando este ya ha terminado.»
Alberto Hernando, Esquire
«Una de las escritoras que mejor sabe contar historias en la actualidad. Esta novela es una lección brillante.»
César Suárez, Telva
«No me puedo sacar a Lucy Barton de la cabeza.»
Johanna Thomas-Corr, The Times
«Una escritora elegante, eficiente y de alta sensibilidad: un seguro para cualquier lector exigente.»
Jose María Guelbenzu, Babelia
«Qué escritora tan increíble.»
«Cada libro que escribe supera al anterior.»
«¿Cómo lo hace? ¿Cómo consigue generar este desasosiego [...]? Puro talento, supongo.»
«Con destellos de Anne Tyler y John Updike. [...] Strout es una de nuestras mejores narradoras.»
«Sus libros nos hacen mejores personas.»
«No es casualidad que se haya comparado a Strout con Hemingway. En muchos sentidos, le supera.
È la storia, questa, di una cittadina anonima della provincia americana. Di un’estate straordinariamente torrida. Di un microcosmo di donne, impiegate presso gli uffici di una fabbrica locale. Tra queste c’è Isabelle, ancora giovane, che tenta di celare il proprio misterioso passato dietro una facciata di decoro e perbenismo; e c’è la figlia Amy, una timida adolescente con un segreto che non riesce a tenere nascosto. Il rapporto tra le due è teso, intessuto di cose non dette e di una reciproca incomprensione che si trasforma in aperta ostilità quando la madre scopre nella figlia l’esuberanza e la voglia di vivere che un tempo erano state le sue, il suo stesso desiderio di darsi a un altro e di essere amata. Il mondo di Amy e Isabelle crollerà violentemente all’improvviso, e dopo un toccante, impietoso confronto durante una drammatica notte niente sarà più come prima. Lieve e spietato, impreziosito da una scrittura cristallina, Amy e Isabelle è un indimenticabile romanzo sui legami affettivi e la paura di amare.
«Un libro esemplare».
Elisabetta Rasy, «Corriere della Sera»
«Madre e figlia si amano con dolorosa intensità e si odiano perché sono la stessa donna alle prese con le stesse emozioni ma da prospettive inconciliabili. Storie comuni per donne comuni. Esattamente come noi».
Rosella Simone, «D – la Repubblica»
«Elizabeth Strout è ai vertici della narrativa contemporanea di lingua inglese».
Roberto Bertinetti, «Il sole 24 ore»