Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 2009
Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge has been awarded the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The book, written in 13 parts, presents an exceptional character study of Olive Kitteridge, a retired school teacher living in a small Maine town. Various residents of the town come into and out of her life in the 13 stories which tend to move forward and backward in time. Some of these secondary characters appear in a number of the short stories, but others are never heard from again although their storylines are quite compelling. But no matter. It is Olive, a strong-willed, well-developed and complex character, whose life we are coming to know through fragments and tangents. These small revelations crystallize things about her youth, her declining years, her interrelationships with family and strangers, – her place in the universe – that coalesce into a memorable and thoughtful portrait. I would highly recommend Olive Kitteridge to readers of fiction and short stories.
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