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May's Author of the Month: ELIZABETH STROUT

by Tyler Vitt - Tuesday, May 02, 2017 at 4:24pm

Despite growing up on a dirt road with no access to TV or newspapers, Elizabeth Strout was drawn to writing things down, and encouraged by her mother, she kept notebooks from an early age. Books were a miracle to her, and early on she knew she wanted to become a writer. She was in her forties, however, before her first book, the novel Amy & Isabelle, was published in 1998. Her third book, Olive Kitteridge, a collection of connected short stories won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Reverberating with the deep bonds of family and hope, her sixth book, a novel, Anything is Possible, explores the whole range of human emotion through the intimate dramas of a cast of small-town characters struggling to understand themselves and each other. A woman trades self-respect for a wealthy husband while in the pages of a book her sister finds a kindred spirit who changes her life; the janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help; a grown daughter longs for her mother's love even as she comes to accept her mother’s happiness in a foreign country; and the adult Lucy Barton (the heroine of Strout's My Name Is Lucy Barton), returns to visit her siblings after seventeen years of absence.

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Anything Is Possible

- Hardcover

by Elizabeth Strout - $36.00 - Add to Cart

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER o An unforgettable cast of small-town characters copes with love and loss in this new work of fiction by #1 bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout. Recalling Olive Kitteridge in its richness, structure, and complexity, Anything Is Possible explores the whole range of human emotion through the intimate dramas of people struggling to understand themselves and others. Here are two sisters: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband while the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. The janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help; a grown daughter longs for mother love even as she comes to accept her mother's happiness in a foreign country; and the adult Lucy Barton (the heroine of My Name Is Lucy Barton, the author's celebrated New York Times bestseller) returns to visit her siblings after seventeen years of absence. Reverberating with the deep bonds of family, and the hope that comes with reconciliation, Anything Is Possible again underscores Elizabeth Strout's place as one of America's most respected and cherished authors.Praise for Anything Is Possible"When Elizabeth Strout is on her game, is there anybody better? . . . This is a generous, wry book about everyday lives, and Strout crawls so far inside her characters you feel you inhabit them. . . . This is a book that earns its title. Try reading it without tears, or wonder."--USA Today (four stars) "Readers who loved My Name Is Lucy Barton . . . are in for a real treat. . . . Strout is a master of the story cycle form. . . .  She paints cumulative portraits of the heartache and soul of small-town America by giving each of her characters a turn under her sympathetic spotlight."--NPR "These stories return Strout to the core of what she does more magnanimously than anyone else, which is to render quiet portraits of the indignities and disappointments of normal life, and the moments of grace and kindness we are gifted in response. . . . Strout hits the target yet again."--The Washington Post "In this wise and accomplished book, pain and healing exist in perpetual dependence, like feuding siblings."--The Wall Street Journal "Anything Is Possible confirms Strout as one of our most grace-filled, and graceful, writers."--The Boston Globe"In Elizabeth Strout's Anything Is Possible, her stunning follow-up to My Name Is Lucy Barton, a famous author returns to the Midwestern hometown of her childhood, touching off a daisy-chain of stories narrated by those who knew her--memories of trauma and goodwill, resentments small and large, and the ever-widening gulf between haves and have-nots. Strout, always good, just keeps getting better."--Vogue "If you miss the charmingly eccentric and completely relatable characters from Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout's best-selling My Name Is Lucy Barton, you'll be happily reunited with them in Strout's smart and soulful Anything Is Possible."--Elle"Strout pierces the inner worlds of these characters' most private behaviors, illuminating the emotional conflicts and pure joy of being human, of finding oneself in the search for the American dream."--NYLON

Amy and Isabelle

- Trade paperback

by Elizabeth Strout - $22.00 - Add to Cart

The Burgess Boys

- Trade paperback

by Elizabeth Strout - $21.00 - Add to Cart

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER o Includes Elizabeth Strout's never-before-published essay about the origins of The Burgess BoysNAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post o NPR o Good HousekeepingElizabeth Strout "animates the ordinary with an astonishing force," wrote The New Yorker on the publication of her Pulitzer Prize-winning Olive Kitteridge. The San Francisco Chronicle praised Strout's "magnificent gift for humanizing characters." Now the acclaimed author returns with a stunning novel as powerful and moving as any work in contemporary literature.   Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a Legal Aid attorney who idolizes Jim, has always taken it in stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan--the Burgess sibling who stayed behind--urgently calls them home. Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has gotten himself into a world of trouble, and Susan desperately needs their help. And so the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever.  With a rare combination of brilliant storytelling, exquisite prose, and remarkable insight into character, Elizabeth Strout has brought to life two deeply human protagonists whose struggles and triumphs will resonate with readers long after they turn the final page. Tender, tough-minded, loving, and deeply illuminating about the ties that bind us to family and home, The Burgess Boys is Elizabeth Strout's newest and perhaps most astonishing work of literary art.Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more."What truly makes Strout exceptional . . . is the perfect balance she achieves between the tides of story and depths of feeling."--Chicago Tribune"Strout's prose propels the story forward with moments of startlingly poetic clarity."--The New Yorker   "Elizabeth Strout's first two books, Abide with Me and Amy and Isabelle, were highly thought of, and her third, Olive Kitteridge, won the Pulitzer Prize in fiction. But The Burgess Boys, her most recent novel, is her best yet."--The Boston Globe   "A portrait of an American community in turmoil that's as ambitious as Philip Roth's American Pastoral but more intimate in tone."--Time   "[Strout's] extraordinary narrative gifts are evident again. . . . At times [The Burgess Boys is] almost effortlessly fluid, with superbly rendered dialogue, sudden and unexpected bolts of humor and . . . startling riffs of gripping emotion."--Associated Press   "[Strout] is at her masterful best when conjuring the two Burgess boys. . . . Scenes between them ring so true."--San Francisco Chronicle

My Name Is Lucy Barton

- Trade paperback

by Elizabeth Strout - $22.00 - Add to Cart

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER o LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE o A simple hospital visit becomes a portal to the tender relationship between mother and daughter in this extraordinary novel by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge and The Burgess Boys.NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post o The New York Times Book Review o NPR o BookPage o LibraryReads o Minneapolis Star Tribune o St. Louis Post-DispatchLook for Elizabeth Strout's highly anticipated new work of fiction, Anything Is Possible, which is available for pre-order now. Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn't spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy's childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy's life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable.Praise for My Name Is Lucy Barton "There is not a scintilla of sentimentality in this exquisite novel. Instead, in its careful words and vibrating silences, My Name Is Lucy Barton offers us a rare wealth of emotion, from darkest suffering to--'I was so happy. Oh, I was happy'--simple joy."--Claire Messud, The New York Times Book Review "Spectacular . . . Smart and cagey in every way. It is both a book of withholdings and a book of great openness and wisdom. . . . [Strout] is in supreme and magnificent command of this novel at all times."--Lily King, The Washington Post   "A short novel about love, particularly the complicated love between mothers and daughters, but also simpler, more sudden bonds . . . It evokes these connections in a style so spare, so pure and so profound the book almost seems to be a kind of scripture or sutra, if a very down-to-earth and unpretentious one."--Marion Winik, Newsday   "Potent with distilled emotion. Without a hint of self-pity, Strout captures the ache of loneliness we all feel sometimes."--Time "An aching, illuminating look at mother-daughter devotion."--People "A quiet, sublimely merciful contemporary novel about love, yearning, and resilience in a family damaged beyond words."--The Boston Globe "Sensitive, deceptively simple . . . It is Lucy's gentle honesty, complex relationship with her husband, and nuanced response to her mother's shortcomings that make this novel so subtly powerful. . . . [It's] more complex than it first appears, and all the more emotionally persuasive for it."--San Francisco Chronicle "Strout maps the complex terrain of human relationships by focusing on that which is often unspoken and only implied. . . . A powerful addition to Strout's body of work."--The Seattle Times "[Strout] reminds us of the power of our stories--and our ability to transcend our troubled narratives."--Miami Herald "Magnificent."--Ann Patchett

Olive Kitteridge

- Trade paperback

by Elizabeth Strout - $21.00 - Add to Cart

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.