Elizabeth Strout Interview

The YouTube video is an interview with Elizabeth Strout about truthfulness and her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, OLIVE KITTERIDGE. I met her at a lunch/reading at Town Center Book Store in Pleasanton, California when OLIVE KITTERIDGE was first published in 2008. I told her that my novel, EVA, was almost complete, but I didn’t know who would read it. She said to keep writing and not to worry about who will read the story. It’s more important to write what you want to write. I remember her advice whenever I start a writing project.

Today, I heard a thirty-minute interview on KPFA radio where she discussed her new novel, THE BURGESS BOYS. She said the inspiration for the story came when she cleaned out files from her novel, ABIDE WITH ME. The Burgess boys were minor characters at the end. She had scenes with them as children , which she didn’t use in that story. She thought about what they would be like when they grew up and realized as adults they could be the main characters of a new novel.

She wrote sketches and more sketches about them, then cut, revised, and developed the plot for this new published novel.

Since Elizabeth Strout is one of my favorite authors, I’m looking forward to reading THE BURGESS BOYS.


April 25, 2013 · 8:15 pm

5 responses to “Elizabeth Strout Interview

  1. Ginger Calem

    Very interesting. I love when she says, “You can’t be careful.” SO true! Thanks for sharing this interview. 🙂


  2. What a great way to find characters for a new project. Never would have thought to do that if I hadn’t read your blog today. Nice job.


    • Yes, “You can’t be careful” stuck out to me also – how much of life is trying too hard to be careful (maybe I speak for myself) and all the times we are being careful are times that are dull and uninteresting. It is those times when we let go and “just do it” that are the really luscious memories of life! Thanks for sharing this interview, Julaina.


  3. fuzzyredsocks

    Yes “You can’t be careful” rang true for me also. I know in my life it isn’t the times I am trying so hard to be careful and do the right that stick out – it is when I just let go and am willing to explore – those are the times that create those precious lasting memories in life. Thanks for sharing this, Julaina.


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