Elizabeth Strout Archive

Olive Kitteridge and My Mother

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Each day after her husband's death, Olive Kitteridge runs down the clock until she can go to bed with the sun. She has her routine, but it feels purposeless. Olive made me wonder if the days felt like this to my mother after my father’s death.

The Linked Stories and Linked Lives of Elizabeth Strout

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Why are rural communities so often the target of linked story collections?

Opulence and Escalators: Xu Xi’s “Famine”

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Every once in a while the short story gets its moment in the literary spotlight. It happened in 2008 when Elizabeth Strout’s linked story collection, Olive Kitteridge, won the Pulitzer Prize; and again in 2013 when the Nobel Prize committee recognized Alice Munro’s lifetime achievement in the form.

Round-Up: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the Man Booker Prize, and the Vatican Library

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From the highly anticipated "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," to the announcement of the Man Booker Prize longlist, here's some of last week's hottest literary news.

Bookmarks #3: Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO

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The Bookmarks series will profile unique bookstores and literary spaces across the country. These landmarks, often celebrated within the cities featured in our Literary Boroughs series, are home to myriad readings, panels, classes, workshops, and—of course—books. Posts are merely introductions to these spaces; we encourage readers to contribute additional

Elizabeth Strout at Emerson: The Videos (Part I)

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The footage is finally here! Watch the first half of Elizabeth Strout’s question-and-answer session on April 15 at Emerson College below, or on our YouTube channel. In these videos, she discusses revising Olive Kitteridge, writing cantankerous female characters, surviving law school, and sometimes being surprised by her own work.

Elizabeth Strout, the Subconscious Writer

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Several times during her question-and-answer session at Emerson College on April 15, Elizabeth Strout admitted to making things up. No one would begrudge a fiction writer of doing that–fabrication is part of her job. But Strout “just knew” when her latest book Olive Kitteridge was ready. “Which isn’t very

Ten Quick Questions with… Elizabeth Strout

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Elizabeth Strout’s had quite a year. Her third work of fiction, Olive Kitteridge, still sits on the paperback bestseller list. Last April, she earned the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. This Thursday, she headlines the Ploughshares Reading Series, where she will read one of Olive’s stories (“I often make that

“We’re all shoving more and more Twinkies in our mouths.”

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Ploughshares is off to the AWP conference in Denver this week! But to keep excitement high for guest editor Elizabeth Strout’s visit to Emerson next Thursday, here are two fun interviews pulled from YouTube. In the first, Strout talks about how freeing she found writing at a young age.

Three Excerpts from Spring ’10 Fiction

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We have shifted gears to the Spring 2010 Ploughshares–look at the new color scheme on our home page! As a bonus to our loyal blog readers, here are three brief excerpts from pieces Elizabeth Strout handpicked for the issue. If you subscribe now, you’ll receive this issue as soon