Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout to speak at Centre
Author Elizabeth Strout will read from her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “Olive Kitteridge,” as well as unpublished works, at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 14 in Weisiger Theatre.
The convocation address, part of the Humana Visiting Professor Program, is free and open to the public.
The following day, Nov. 15, Strout will discuss her writing process and her work in a craft talk for students at 11:30 a.m. in the J. David Grissom Reading Room of the Doherty Library.
Library Director Stan Campbell believes Strout stands out as an author because her work is intelligent, yet doesn’t isolate readers.
“One of the most impressive things about Elizabeth Strout’s novels is that they are immediately accessible. At the same time, Strout’s work is deeply serious and moving,” Campbell says. “Like Anne Tyler and a few other contemporary writers, she manages to be both a popular writer and a serious artist. If you look at the best-seller lists, you won’t find very many writers or books that fit that description.”
Strout has found popular success with her work, in part, because of its often humorous nature.
“I hope students will see that serious writing doesn’t have to be doleful,” says Campbell. “It can be accessible and comic and immensely entertaining.”
All of Strout’s published works have won acclaim, starting with her 2000 debut, “Amy and Isabelle,” which was shortlisted for the prestigious Orange Prize and was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award in fiction. “Abide with Me,” released in 2006, became a New York Times Bestseller.
Strout’s most recent publication, “Olive Kitteridge,” a collection of short stories revolving around the title character, won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize and was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award. Strout also won the Italian Premio Bancarella Award for the book, making her the first American to win the award since Ernest Hemingway. “Olive Kitteridge” was also a New York Times Bestseller.
Strout’s visit to Centre’s campus was coordinated by the College library in collaboration with the office of the Academic Dean.
The Humana Visiting Professor Program endowed fund, established in 1998 by the Humana Foundation, allows Centre to invite outstanding individuals in fields from literature to art and science to campus each year. Recent Humana Visiting Professors have included Wendell Berry and James McBride.