Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stout
Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Stout, won the Pulitzer Prize award for fiction this year. Olive Kitteridge is the title character in a series of 13 stories, all taking place in a fictional Maine town, Crosby, and all focusing on Ms. Kitteridge and her interaction with family and various townsfolk. What makes this novel special is Olive herself. Olive is a retired, seventh-grade math teacher who is “quick, sharp, big, gossipy and not an easy force to reckon with.”
Along with Olive’s character, the rustic locale of small coastal town Maine becomes a character in itself. Author Stout was brought up in small towns in Maine and New Hampshire and she knows whereof she speaks. The combination of town, town characters and Olive makes for a classy and captivating read.
Other Pulitzer Prize winners for 2009 are: