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The B&N Podcast

Dec 24, 2019

In celebration of some of the most fascinating authors we spoke with in 2019, we're re-sharing our conversation with Pulitzer Prize winning writer Elizabeth Strout, who joined us to talk about her new novel Olive, Again. Since she published her first novel Amy and Isabelle, Elizabeth Strout has been known to readers for her subtle, sidelong portrayals of what Alice Munro, praising Strout's fiction, described as "the bravery and hard choices of what is called ordinary life." Strout's novels have all been populated with brilliantly illuminated characters, but one resident of the fictional town of Crosby, Maine has crackled with an especially powerful charge. The star of Strout's Pultizer winning 2008 novel Olive Kitteridge — an abrasive, unfiltered, and wincingly honest former schoolteacher — proved a voice that echoed in readers' heads long after the last page of that wry and winning story concluded. So Strout's return to Crosby and to this unforgettable personality in novel Olive, Again, has been hailed by readers and critics alike as one of the best things to happen this year. Elizabeth Strout sat down in the B&N Podcast studio earlier this fall for a talk with Bill Tipper about storytelling, overheard conversations, and Olive's triumphant return.