After nearly a decade, Elizabeth Strout is revisiting her character Olive Kitteridge in a new book, Olive, Again. Its predecessor, Olive Kitteridge, won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize and gained some rather fervent fans. Strout discussed the character’s surprising popularity with Emma Brockes at the Guardian. “Ever since I was a child, I always wanted to know what it felt like to be another person,” Strout says. “That’s the engine that has propelled me. What does it feel like to be that person, sitting on the subway – I can see her trousers are a little snug so I know what that would feel like. I would spend so much time trying to figure out what it feels like to be another person.”
Max’s verdict in the opening round of The Morning News Tournament of Books has been posted. Which book did he pick, Gate at the Stairs or The Book of Night Women? Hop over to TMN to find out. And don’t miss the match commentary, which has some great additional discussion of both books.
“I never thought of myself as an outsider. Because outside of what? You would have to give advantage to this space where you’re not, to think of it as sovereign because you’re not there. I was always in the center of where I needed to be.” Aleksander Hemon on writing his new book.
“For the first half of a new book, maybe you want your back against the wall. Gunslinger style. Nothing can sneak up on you except your own bad sentences,” Colson Whitehead said. He and four other authors discussed where they like to write in The New York Times. Bonus: See where our writers work.
Out this week: The Wall by H.G. Adler; How to Be Both by Ali Smith; Screenplay by MacDonald Harris; Woman with a Gun by Phillip Margolin; Essays after Eighty by Donald Hall; Selected Letters by Norman Mailer; and Skylight by the late Nobel laureate José Saramago. For more on these and other recent titles, check out our Great Second-half 2014 Book Preview.