2019 Commencement Address, University of Maine at Farmington

Commencement / Graduation 2019. Saturday, May 11 2019 10:30am. Pulitzer-winning Maine author Elizabeth Strout was the keynote speaker and received an honorary degree at the University of Maine at Farmington's 2019 Commencement ceremony.

I’m a writer and so I spend a great deal of my time alone. And every decision I ultimately make on that page, I make alone. And then the work goes out into the world.... What I do (I have come to realize this) is an act of faith. And whatever you all will do will also be acts of faith.

You don’t have to be a teacher or a writer to understand that we are all connected and that what we do every day will ripple out in ways that we will never know.... But we don’t have to know. We just have to trust that whatever we do in the world will find its way to a person who needs it.
— 2019 Commencement Address, Univeristy of Maine at Farmington

Olive, Again

I'm happy to let readers know that I have a new book, OLIVE, AGAIN, coming out next fall, September 3rd, 2019.

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Here is the press release from my U.S. publisher, Random House:

Random House is thrilled to announce the return of the beloved Olive Kitteridge in Elizabeth’s Strout’s next novel, OLIVE, AGAIN, which will be published on September 3, 2019. “It turns out – I just wasn’t done with Olive,” said Strout. “It was like she kept poking me in the ribs, so I finally said, ‘Okay, okay…”

OLIVE, AGAIN will pick up where OLIVE KITTERIDGE left off, following the next decade of Olive’s life – through a second marriage, an evolving relationship with her son, and encounters with a cast of memorable characters in the seaside town of Crosby, Maine.

The character of Olive Kitteridge has achieved an iconic place in the imaginations of millions of readers since the 2008 publication of Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, OLIVE KITTERIDGE. In 2014, it was turned into an acclaimed HBO series, which won 8 Emmys, including Best Actress to Frances McDormand for her performance in the title role.

In the citation for the Pulitzer Prize, the committee noted that the novel “packed a cumulative emotional wallop, bound together by polished prose and by Olive, the title character, blunt, flawed, and fascinating.”

Apparently, I was not through with Olive, nor she with me!