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Olive Kitteridge

by Elizabeth Strout

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Olive Kitteridge (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,036587719 (3.92)706
At the edge of the continent, Crosby, Maine, may seem like nowhere, but seen through this brilliant writer's eyes, it's in essence the whole world, and the lives that are lived there are filled with all of the grand human drama -- desire, despair, jealousy, hope, and love. 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 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.… (more)
  1. 101
    Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (2810michael)
  2. 80
    Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson (gust, ainsleytewce)
    gust: Ook een verhalenbundel met terugkerende personages in de verschillende verhalen
  3. 70
    A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (_debbie_)
  4. 50
    Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri (chrisharpe)
  5. 72
    Empire Falls by Richard Russo (2810michael)
  6. 62
    The Other Hand by Chris Cleave (sarah-e)
  7. 30
    Our Town by Thornton Wilder (ainsleytewce)
  8. 20
    Moral Disorder and Other Stories by Margaret Atwood (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Both tell the life story of a woman in short story form, with compassion and an unflinching eye.
  9. 20
    Plainsong by Kent Haruf (aprille)
  10. 10
    Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro (ainsleytewce)
  11. 10
    The Edge of Darkness by Mary Ellen Chase (CurrerBell)
    CurrerBell: Maine regionalism can often be at its best when written as a collection of short stories, character studies, or vignettes all united around a single character, as in the case of Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge, Mary Ellen Chase's The Edge of Darkness, and Sarah Orne Jewett's The Country of the Pointed Firs.… (more)
  12. 10
    Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters (ainsleytewce)
  13. 10
    Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (sturlington)
  14. 10
    Tunu by Kim Leine (2810michael)
    2810michael: Mest pga opbygningen med novelleagtige kapitler, der portrætterer en by og dens personer
  15. 10
    The Sweet Hereafter by Russell Banks (jbvm)
  16. 10
    A Reckless Moon by Dianne Warren (lkernagh, mymia)
  17. 10
    The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld (thelittlematchgirl)
    thelittlematchgirl: both are stories about women some people will find unlikeable and some will want to be friends with.
  18. 10
    The Evening Star by Larry McMurtry (Ciruelo)
    Ciruelo: A strong willed and contrary woman is the foundation of each book.
  19. 10
    The Way to the Cats: A Novel by Yehoshua Kenaz (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: another crotchety old woman - about whom it's fun to read
  20. 00
    Tinkers by Paul Harding (sturlington)
    sturlington: Two Pulitzer Prize winners set in Maine

(see all 24 recommendations)

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» See also 706 mentions

English (578)  Catalan (4)  Dutch (3)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (590)
Showing 1-5 of 578 (next | show all)
Didn't finish- good 1st chapter.
  apende | Jul 12, 2022 |
Roman se sastoji od trinaest međusobno povezanih pripovijedaka u kojima se opisuje život umirovljene profesorice matematike Olive Kitteridge i njen odnos s članovima uže obitelji i s najbližim prijateljima koji žive u provincijskom gradiću Crosbyju u saveznoj državi Maine. Pripovijedanje o životu u malom mjestu, sa svim njegovim ljepotama i manama prožeto je snažnim emocijama: željama, nadom, ljubomorom i ljubavlju. Za ovaj roman Elizabeth Strout dobila je Pulitzerovu nagradu za književnost 2009.
  rosenrot | Jun 23, 2022 |
I read this novel in 2008 when it first came out. I recently picked it up again--in the book exchange in the laundry room of my building, of all places.

A book meets you where you are, and I find these characters finding and moving me anew, in a reflective place, taking measure of the past in all its layered and nuanced complexities. Writing simply does not get better than Elizabeth Strout, an author who fulfills fiction's truest gift--to know the soul of another. ( )
  jturneryamamoto | Jun 4, 2022 |
Het verbaast mij dat dit boek (nog) niet vertaald is in het Nederlands. Een pulitzer prijs winnaar nog wel. En meer dan de moeite waard.

Edit: Wel vertaald! (Dank Birgit) onder de naam "winter" ( )
  MarianneBrix | May 27, 2022 |
Written more as a collection of stories about the residents of a small town in Maine, of which Olive is also a resident. She appears in many, but not all of the stories, either as the central character or just a small part. Very well-written, just not my favorite style. Most of the stories jumped back and forth in time a bit, so it can get just a bit confusing to put things together. ( )
  nankan | Apr 16, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 578 (next | show all)
Each of the 13 tales serves as an individual microcosm of small-town life, with its gossip, small kindnesses, and everyday tragedies. Not all the minor characters stand out the way Henry and Olive do, and there are a pile of them to keep straight by the end. I also couldn’t quite place how one story, “Ship in a Bottle,” meshed with the rest. But those are small flaws far outweighed by the book’s compassion and intelligence.
 
The pleasure in reading “Olive Kitteridge” comes from an intense identification with complicated, not always admirable, characters. And there are moments in which slipping into a character’s viewpoint seems to involve the revelation of an emotion more powerful and interesting than simple fellow feeling—a complex, sometimes dark, sometimes life-sustaining dependency on others.
 
Olive Kitteridge might be described by some as a battle axe or as brilliantly pushy, by others as the kindest person they had ever met. Olive herself has always been certain that she is 100% correct about everything - although, lately, her certitude has been shaken. This indomitable character appears at the centre of these narratives that comprise Olive Kitteridge. In each of them, we watch Olive, a retired schoolteacher, as she struggles to make sense of the changes in her life and the lives of those around her always with brutal honesty, if sometimes painfully. Olive will make you laugh, nod in recognition, as well as wince in pain or shed a tear or two. We meet her stoic husband, bound to her in a marriage both broken and strong, and her own son, tyrannised by Olive's overbearing sensitivities. The reader comes away, amazed by this author's ability to conjure this formidable heroine and her deep humanity that infiltrates every page.
 

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Strout, Elizabethprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blanchette, Dana LeighCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burr, SandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Castoldi, SilviaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Farr, KimberlyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stjernfeldt, Agnes DorphTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Versluys, Marijkesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For my mother
who can make life magical
and is the best storyteller I know
First words
For many years Henry Kitteridge was a pharmacist in the next town over, driving every morning on snowy roads, or rainy roads, or summertime roads, when the wild raspberries shot their new growth in brambles along the last section of town before he turned off to where the wider road led to the pharmacy.
Quotations
Olive had sat in her bedroom and wept like a baby, not so much for this country but for the city itself, which had seemed to her to become suddenly no longer a foreign, hardened place, but as fragile as a class of kindergarten children, brave in their terror.
She showed him the library built the year before Henry's stroke, with its cathedral ceiling and skylights. He looked at the books, and she wanted to say, "Stop that," as though he were reading her diary.
Who, who, does not have their basket of trips.
He wanted to put his arms around her, but she had a darkness that seemed to stand beside her like an acquaintance that would not go away. – "Pharmacy"
Angie... felt she had figured something out too late, and that must be the way of life, to get something figured out when it was too late. – "The Piano Player"
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

At the edge of the continent, Crosby, Maine, may seem like nowhere, but seen through this brilliant writer's eyes, it's in essence the whole world, and the lives that are lived there are filled with all of the grand human drama -- desire, despair, jealousy, hope, and love. 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 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.

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Book description
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 into a deeper understanding of herself and her life - sometimes painfully, but always with ruthless honesty.

Stories:
Pharmacy
Incoming Tide
The Piano Player
A Little Burst
Starving
A Different Road
Winter Concert
Tulips
Basket of Trips
Ship in a Bottle
Security
Criminal
River
Haiku summary

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