Anything Is Possible

Letter to Readers

Many parts of Anything is Possible were written while I was writing My Name is Lucy Barton.  It was like this:  As I wrote about the people that Lucy and her mother were talking about in the hospital, I thought, Oh – they have their own story!  And then I would – literally – move to a different part of the table I work on, and I would scribble some scenes about the Pretty Nicely Girls, or about Mississippi Mary.  Then when I was finished with My Name is Lucy Barton, I realized I had another book that could, when I finished it, stand on its own, and that was surprising and fun for me.

I chose a similar format to Olive Kitteridge because this is how the book came to me: a group of people from a certain part of the country – in this case the Midwest – have their stories here about themselves and each other.   As Patty Nicely realizes: People are mostly and mainly interested in themselves.  But this does not disturb her, because she recognizes the human-ness of this quality and also the ability to transcend it.

I hope by reading Anything is Possible you are able for a few moments to transcend the life you are living and to understand – and see – people who may live very differently, but who have similar desires for love and safety and the friendship of others, in whatever form that may take.

Elizabeth Strout