Pulitzer goes to Elizabeth Strout, former L.A. Times book award winner
Elizabeth Strout has won the Pulitzer Prize in fiction, it was announced today, for her book "Olive Kitteridge." Set in rural Maine, the book is woven from short stories in which Kitteridge, a strong-willed seventh-grade teacher, appears.
It is Strout's third novel. Her debut, "Amy and Isabelle," won the 1999 L.A. Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. In 2008, she talked to the online magazine Failbetter about what it meant to receive that kind of recognition.
In her writing life, Strout has stayed on course. Her second novel, "Abide With Me," became a bestseller. After "Olive Kitteridge" was published, she spoke to Robert Birnbaum for the Morning News about the titular character.
It is a haunting experience. It’s a strange experience. And I’ve though about this with each of my books, because they, in a huge way, do occupy me [within] my mind, and when I’m not writing about them I’m mulling over who they are and what they might do. And I live with them and love them for long periods of time and then they’re done, and I sort of can’t imagine they ever will be done, but then they are. And so far, luckily, there’s been another emergence of something else.
The two finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction were also announced today: Louise Erdrich for "The Plague of Doves" and "All Souls" by Christine Schutt.
-- Carolyn Kellogg
Photo: Random House