Elizabeth Strout is the Pulitzer prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge, as well as The Burgess Boys, a New York Times bestseller, Abide With Me and Amy and Isabelle, which won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize.

Strout has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize. Before writing, she had a brief career in the law. Many of her novels have been bestsellers: Olive Kitteridge has sold more than one million copies and was made into an Emmy-winning television mini-series. She has written four novels featuring the character Lucy Barton, the third of which - Oh William! - was shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2022. She lives in New York City and Portland, Maine.

 

'When I write, the person people think I am just disappears'

‘I have been (I believe) accused of false modesty, and yet it is not false, and it is not modesty. It is simply that when I write, the me that people see, the person people think I am, just disappears and I become the text itself. And when I emerge, my sense of that original me goes back to being Nobody. This is hard for people to grasp.’

Read Elizabeth Strout in conversation with fellow Booker-nominated author Elena Ferrante (published in The Guardian, March 2022)

No-one writes interior life as Strout does. This is meticulous observed writing, full of probing psychological insight. Lucy Barton is one of literature’s immortal characters – brittle, damaged, unravelling, vulnerable and most of all, ordinary, like us all.

— The 2022 judges on Oh William!

All nominated books

Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout
My Name Is Lucy Barton