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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Congratulations to Elizabeth Strout on her Pulitzer for Olive Kitteridge. She's the antithesis of the academic: she writes books with great characters, an evocative setting, and a good plot; she's a Mainer (born in Portland) even though she lives in New York; it takes her many years to write a book; she's a failed lawyer. What a great combination!

Fiction like hers upholds the grand tradition of story-telling. She reserves self-conscious musing for the characters, not for the author. She uses language for its place in her heart, not just in her mind. Her characters are stand-ins for no one but themselves. She doesn't worry about the "role of the novel," "the death of the novel," "the meta-novel" - she's a writer.

As long as fiction has writers like this, it will have readers.

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