WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE • THE EMMY AWARD–WINNING HBO MINISERIES STARRING FRANCES MCDORMAND, RICHARD JENKINS, AND BILL MURRAY
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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Olive Kitteridge is a book that sneaks up on you. One minute you’re reading a lyrical, contemplative novel about the inhabitants of a fictional town in coastal Maine, and the next minute you’ve walked in on a character airing intimate, explosive secrets. Elizabeth Strout’s 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner—the basis for an award-winning miniseries starring Frances McDormand—is flat-out magnificent. The novel makes you care profoundly about its perfectly flawed characters and their beautiful, emotionally treacherous world.
Strout's tale of an aging schoolteacher too obsessed with the deterioration of her little town of Crosby, Maine, to realize the problems plaguing her own life, is read with vigor by Sandra Burr. Burr's reading makes Strout's characters rich and wonderful in every way, bringing a well-rounded originality to each one. As Olive, Burr's voice slips into a nagging, aged groan that seems perfectly suited for the central character's downtrodden personality. As Olive's husband, Henry, Burr is understated yet powerful. She understands this poignant tale so entirely that her reading becomes reality for the listener. There is a certain melancholy that infects this story, and Burr is poised to capture and relate it to her audience. Simultaneous release with the Random House hardcover (Reviews, Dec. 10).
Customer ReviewsSee All
Love this book! The odd thing
is, I tried reading Olive Kitteridge few years ago and had to put it down. The story was depressing. I couldn’t stand Olive. She was a horrible woman, wife and mother. A few years have passed and recently I gave the book another try- After all there must be something good about it if it’s a bestseller and a Pulitzer Prize winner, right?
Maybe the timing had to be right for me to appreciate/“hear“ Olive’s story because this time I read the whole book and was very moved. Elizabeth Strout is an amazing writer!
I immediately went on to read the sequel -Olive, Again. (👍!)
Had to put this down once but picked it up again. It HAD to be good reading if it won a Pulitzer Prize, right?
This time it grabbed me at the beginning and held me until the end. Strout’s writing was superb. The lives lived by several of the “townies” in Olive’s life reminded me of my friends, neighbors and relations. The author’s
ability to describe a landscape or personal interaction with beautiful metaphors and similes had me shaking my head in awe at the skillful use of her craft.
Olive is a crusty piece of work. Damaged, flawed and defensive but so like someone I know, I would love to be her friend. She would always tell me the truth I wouldn’t want but needed to hear. And low maintenance!
Thank you for Olive, Elizabeth.
Wonderful book. Beautifully written. Highly recommended. This is the first Elizabeth Strout book I have read - I look forward to reading her others.