Olive Kitteridge

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition – its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires.

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.

(from Goodreads)

More reading

Author Elizabeth Strout’s official website

Wikipedia entry (with resume of each story)

Elizabeth Strout interview by LitHub – ‘On Inhabiting her Characters and Writing Directly’ (2021)

“Traits Don’t Change – States of Mind do” – analysis of Olive Kitteridge.

“Adapting Fragmentation” – an interesting article about adapting Olive Kitteridge (and other works) to TV-series


“Had they known at these moments to be quietly joyful? Most likely not. People mostly did not know enough when they were living life that they were living it.”

– Elizabeth Strout, Olive Kitteridge

See also

Olive, Again (2019)

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