Archives for Pulitzer Prize

#BookReview ‘Olive Kitteridge’ by @LizStrout #literary #contemporary

There are some books you read and as soon as you finish them, you want to go back to the beginning. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout made me feel like that. Strout’s writing style is at once beautiful and expressive, economical and un-wordy. She tells you enough detail to create the picture, not one word too many. The structure is not a linear narrative, instead Strout tells the story of Olive in a series of inter-connected stories set in the small town of Crosby, Maine, where Olive lives with husband Henry. Some stories are told from Olive’s viewpoint, others by by neighbours and people whose path crosses hers; her dry irascible tone made me smile often, but also frown. Olive can be caustic, she tells it as it is. She does not suffer fools and believes she is always correct, though recently her vision of herself has been challenged.  Living in one place for such a long time means she has left a trail through generations of friends, neighbours, shop owners, passers-by and the schoolchildren she once taught. Strout has created a realistic character who is imperfect of whom you warm to because of her faults and because she is as
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Categories: Book Love.

I agree with… Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler on her sense of accomplishment at writing 20 novels: “I would say it’s like if you’ve ever painted a room and you have to sleep in that room at night and you can see you made a mistake here, and here, and here.” [Anne Tyler, in an interview with ‘The Bookseller’ magazine, November 21, 2014] Anne Tyler’s debut novel, If Morning Ever Comes, was published in 1967. Her ninth, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant [1982], was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She won it in 1989 with Breathing Lessons. She wishes she could ‘retire’ her first four novels, believing she really got going with her fifth. This is so reassuring to debut authors such as myself. Such is the pressure today to write a best seller from the beginning, that it is easy to forget that a craft must be learned and it can take many years. Hopefully readers discovered her with the first and stuck with her, that’s exactly what happened to me when I read Kate Atkinson’s first novel Behind the Scenes at the Museum in 1995. I have bought and read every single novel she has written since that first one. The pages of my
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Categories: On Writing.