Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

I know that some people enjoy collections of short stories and others just don't. Usually I would place myself in the latter category, preferring novels to short stories.

But I just read Olive Kitteridge, which was described in a New York Times book review as a "novel in stories" and I really liked it.

The stories all take place in a small town in New England and Olive Kitteridge shows up in all of the stories, either as a central character or in a brief appearance or reference to her.

Through these stories, you learn a lot about Olive - about her marriage, her relationship with her son, and the impact she has on other people in her community.

Plus, you get a sneak peek into the lives of many other characters in her small town. After reading this book, I felt like I'd just spent a week in Crosby, Maine, sitting in coffee shops, people watching and catching snippets of their conversations.

After reading this, I remembered a couple other collections of short stories that I've read and enjoyed: Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris and Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam.

Maybe I do belong in the first category after all...

So, do you like collections of short stories? If so, what are your favourites?


  1. I also liked this one.


  2. I love the Vincent Lam collection, too! I am a short story fan - it like how a good short story needs to cut to the quick, quickly. Every word need to be important... and I find that you read story stories slowly and savor them. My favorite short story author is definitely Alice Munro. She often connects her stories like this, too.


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