Concord, Massachusetts

Two weeks of talks, readings, and discussions celebrating the written and the spoken word.

Elizabeth Strout

Events: Breakfast with the Authors (Tickets $20)

Book: Olive Kitteridge

Visit Author's Website

Elizabeth Strout is the author of the national bestsellers Abide with Me and Amy and Isabelle, which won the Los Angeles Times Award for First Fiction and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in England. Her short stories have been published in a number of magazines including The New Yorker.

In her latest work, 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 character: Olive Kitteridge.

At time 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; and her husband 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.

In a starred review, Publishers Weekly described Olive Kitteridge as “a heart-wrenching, penetrating portrait of ordinary coastal Mainers living lives of quiet grief intermingled with flashes of human connection ... The collection is easy to read and impossible to forget.”