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Olive Kitteridge

By Elizabeth Strout

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Format: Paperback, 286 pages
Other Information: illustrations
Published In: United States, 01 October 2008
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 of Crosby, Maine, 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 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 - its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires.

About the Author

Elizabeth Strout is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge, as well as The Burgess Boys, a New York Times bestseller; Abide with Me, a national bestseller; and Amy and Isabelle, which won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She has also been 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 and O: The Oprah Magazine. Elizabeth Strout lives in New York City. From the Hardcover edition.

Reviews

Olive is her small Maine town's heart and soul-and its interfering tyrant. With an eight-plus-city tour; book club promotion. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Thirteen linked tales from Strout (Abide with Me, etc.) present a heart-wrenching, penetrating portrait of ordinary coastal Mainers living lives of quiet grief intermingled with flashes of human connection. The opening "Pharmacy" focuses on terse, dry junior high-school teacher Olive Kitteridge and her gregarious pharmacist husband, Henry, both of whom have survived the loss of a psychologically damaged parent, and both of whom suffer painful attractions to co-workers. Their son, Christopher, takes center stage in "A Little Burst," which describes his wedding in humorous, somewhat disturbing detail, and in "Security," where Olive, in her 70s, visits Christopher and his family in New York. Strout's fiction showcases her ability to reveal through familiar details-the mother-of-the-groom's wedding dress, a grandmother's disapproving observations of how her grandchildren are raised-the seeds of tragedy. Themes of suicide, depression, bad communication, aging and love, run through these stories, none more vivid or touching than "Incoming Tide," where Olive chats with former student Kevin Coulson as they watch waitress Patty Howe by the seashore, all three struggling with their own misgivings about life. Like this story, the collection is easy to read and impossible to forget. Its literary craft and emotional power will surprise readers unfamiliar with Strout. (Apr.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"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 "Funny, wicked and remorseful, Mrs. Kitteridge is a compelling life force, a red-blooded original. When she's not onstage, we look forward to her return. The book is a page-turner because of her."--San Francisco Chronicle "Olive Kitteridge still lingers in memory like a treasured photograph."--Seattle Post-Intelligencer "Rarely does a story collection pack such a gutsy emotional punch."--Entertainment Weekly "Strout animates the ordinary with astonishing force. . . . [She] makes us experience not only the terrors of change but also the terrifying hope that change can bring: she plunges us into these churning waters and we come up gasping for air."--The New Yorker From the Hardcover edition. -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 -Funny, wicked and remorseful, Mrs. Kitteridge is a compelling life force, a red-blooded original. When she's not onstage, we look forward to her return. The book is a page-turner because of her.---San Francisco Chronicle -Olive Kitteridge still lingers in memory like a treasured photograph.---Seattle Post-Intelligencer -Rarely does a story collection pack such a gutsy emotional punch.---Entertainment Weekly -Strout animates the ordinary with astonishing force. . . . [She] makes us experience not only the terrors of change but also the terrifying hope that change can bring: she plunges us into these churning waters and we come up gasping for air.---The New Yorker From the Hardcover edition. 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 Funny, wicked and remorseful, Mrs. Kitteridge is a compelling life force, a red-blooded original. When she s not onstage, we look forward to her return. The book is a page-turner because of her. San Francisco Chronicle Olive Kitteridge still lingers in memory like a treasured photograph. Seattle Post-Intelligencer Rarely does a story collection pack such a gutsy emotional punch. Entertainment Weekly Strout animates the ordinary with astonishing force. . . . [She] makes us experience not only the terrors of change but also the terrifying hope that change can bring: she plunges us into these churning waters and we come up gasping for air. The New Yorker From the Hardcover edition." NAMED A BEST BOOK" "OF 2008 BY" PeopleUSA TodayThe AtlanticThe Washington Post Book WorldSeattle Post-IntelligencerEntertainment WeeklyThe Christian Science MonitorSan Francisco ChronicleSalonSan Antonio Express-NewsChicago TribuneThe Wall Street Journal" NAMED A BEST BOOK""OF 2008 BY" PeopleUSA TodayThe AtlanticThe Washington Post Book WorldSeattle Post-IntelligencerEntertainment WeeklyThe Christian Science MonitorSan Francisco ChronicleSalonSan Antonio Express-NewsChicago TribuneThe Wall Street Journal" NAMED A BEST BOOK""OF 2008 BY" PeopleUSA TodayThe AtlanticThe Washington Post Book WorldSeattle Post-IntelligencerEntertainment WeeklyThe Christian Science MonitorSan Francisco ChronicleSalonSan Antonio Express-NewsChicago TribuneThe Wall Street Journal" NAMED A BEST BOOK" "OF 2008 BY": PeopleUSA TodayThe AtlanticThe Washington Post Book WorldSeattle Post-IntelligencerEntertainment WeeklyThe Christian Science MonitorSan Francisco ChronicleSalonSan Antonio Express-NewsChicago TribuneThe Wall Street Journal"

EAN: 9780812971835
ISBN: 0812971833
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Dimensions: 20.32 x 13.21 x 2.03 centimetres (0.24 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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2 review(s)
All Reviews
2
2
Kate on
+1
This is a great book - one of the kind that gets inside your head without you realising it. Each story is in itself a stand alone masterpiece revealing the characters in evolutionary fashion until you feel as much a part of them as if you had grown up along side them.
Efy on
 
Beautifully written book with each chapter giving insight to small town coastal life in America with all it's personality, storms and intrigues. The character that ties it together is Olive from the title - a retired high school math teacher, married to the town pharmacist Henry. She is big, bold and brash but always speaks and acts from the heart. Life throws her some sadness, disappoinments and challenges and she calls on 'the beast' inside her to rise to the occasion. Some chapters are told from ex-students and others are from her or Henry's perspective. Subjects like suicide, death, psychiatry, divorce, alcoholism, betrayal and blended families are dealt with a disarming directness - rather like Olive herself.
Worthy of the accolades it has received. Recommended to the literary minded.

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