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The Resource Anything is possible, Elizabeth Strout

Anything is possible, Elizabeth Strout

Label
Anything is possible
Title
Anything is possible
Statement of responsibility
Elizabeth Strout
Creator
Contributor
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Member of
Storyline
Pace
Writing style
Character
Award
  • LibraryReads Favorites, 2017
  • Librarians' Choice (Australia), 2017
  • New York Times Notable Book, 2017
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ In this collection of short stories centered in and near the fictional town of Amgash, Illinois, last visited in My Name Is Lucy Barton (2016), Strout once again shows her talent for adroitly uncovering what makes ordinary people tick. Here, for the most part, it’s sex. Nearly every story has sex at its core—not erotic or salacious sex, but the sex that beats in our hearts, the mundane stuff that brought every last one of us into being. It’s almost misleading to classify these as short stories; while they read fine as stand-alones, they work best as chapters that make up a novel of Amgash. Each story feeds off a previous one, whether via shared characters or mention of a prior incident. For example, Lucy’s former classmate Patty not only gets her own story, she’s also featured prominently in several stories and is mentioned in passing in others. Most of the stories feature Lucy herself—on the periphery, at least—whether it’s a character reading Lucy’s latest book or seeing her on a TV spot or stopping on a memory of the dirt-poor Barton clan. Clearly, this is a must-read for fans of Lucy Barton, but it’s also an excellent introduction to Strout’s marvelously smart character studies. -- Vnuk, Rebecca (Reviewed 3/15/2017) (Booklist, vol 113, number 14, p18)
  • /*LibraryReads Favorite*/ Strout does not disappoint with her newest work. Her brilliant collection takes up where her novel, My Name is Lucy Barton, leaves off. The chapters read like short stories with Lucy Barton as the thread that runs between them. The characters populate Amgash, Illinois and their stories are woven together carefully and wonderfully. No one captures the inner workings of small town characters better than Strout. Written to be read and enjoyed many times, I highly recommend for readers of fine literary fiction. -- Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, TX. (LibraryReads, April 2017)
  • /* Starred Review */ In her latest work, Strout achieves new levels of masterful storytelling. Damaged lives can be redeemed but, as she eloquently demonstrates in this powerful, sometimes shocking, often emotionally wrenching novel, the emotional scars can last forever. If some readers felt that Strout’s previous novel, My Name Is Lucy Barton, was too subtle and oblique about Lucy’s hellish childhood, here Strout reveals specific details of the horrible circumstances in which Lucy and her siblings were raised, as recollected by some of the inhabitants of Amgash, Ill., and the surrounding communities. Using the novel-in-stories format of Olive Kitteridge, Strout again proves Tolstoy’s observation that each family is unhappy in its own way. Except for one episode in which Lucy herself comes back for a tortured sibling reunion, she is the absent but omnipresent thread that weaves among the dozen or so characters who are have suffered secret misery and are longing for love and understanding. Some are lucky: one of the five Mumford sisters reunites with her runaway mother in Italy; another, an angry young girl, is suddenly able to see the way to a brighter future. Others, including a Vietnam veteran with PTSD and a rich woman who is complicit in her husband’s depraved behavior survive despite the baggage of tortured memories. “They had grown up on shame; it was the nutrient of their soil,” one character acknowledges. Strout’s prose is pared down, yet rich with implication. It is left for the character in the final episode, Lucy’s cousin Abel, who despite a similarly deprived childhood is now a happy and successful business executive, husband, father, and grandfather, to observe, in what may be his final moments, that “Anything was possible for anyone.” (Apr.) --Staff (Reviewed 02/20/2017) (Publishers Weekly, vol 264, issue 08, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ A radiant collection of stories linked to Strout's previous novel, My Name Is Lucy Barton (2016, etc.), but moving beyond its first-person narration to limn small-town life from multiple perspectives.Lucy is long gone from Amgash, Illinois, but her absence looms large; now that she's a well-known author, the fact that her desperately poor family was despised and outcast has become an uncomfortable memory for the locals, including her damaged brother, Pete, and resentful sister, Vicky. Strout stakes out the collection's moral terrain in its first story, "The Sign." Tommy Guptill, who was kind to Lucy when she was a girl, still drops by the ramshackle Barton house to check on Pete even though it's quite likely that Pete's father was responsible for the fire that destroyed Tommy's dairy farm and reduced him to taking a job as a school janitor. Tommy is an extraordinarily good man who took the calamitous fire as a spiritual lesson in what was truly important and has lived by it ever since. Patty Nicely, protagonist of "Windmills," is another genuinely decent person who returns kindness for cruelty from Vicky's angry daughter, Lila, who, in addition to viciously insulting Patty, states the jaundiced town wisdom about Lucy: "She thinks she's better than any of us." That isn't so, we see in the story in which Lucy finally visits home ("Sister"), but there are plenty of mean-spirited people in Amgash who like to think so; it excuses their own various forms of uncaring. Class prejudice remains one of Strout's enduring themes, along with the complex, fraught bonds of family across the generations, and she investigates both with tender yet tough-minded compassion for even the most repulsive characters (Patty's nasty sister, Linda, and her predatory husband, Jay, in the collection's creepiest story, "Cracked"). The epic scope within seemingly modest confines recalls Strout's Pulitzer Prize winner, Olive Kitteridge (2008), and her ability to discern vulnerabilities buried beneath bad behavior is as acute as ever. Another powerful examination of painfully human ambiguities and ambivalences—this gifted writer just keeps getting better.(Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2017)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10554761
Cataloging source
TXN
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Strout, Elizabeth
Dewey number
813/.54
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3569.T736
LC item number
A6 2017
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
  • Strout, Elizabeth
  • Strout, Elizabeth
  • Strout, Elizabeth
  • Strout, Elizabeth
  • Strout, Elizabeth
  • Strout, Elizabeth
  • Strout, Elizabeth
  • Strout, Elizabeth
  • Strout, Elizabeth
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Mothers and daughters
  • Brothers and sisters
  • Families
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
fiction
Label
Anything is possible, Elizabeth Strout
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
The sign -- Windmills -- Cracked -- The hit-thumb theory -- Mississippi Mary -- Sister -- Dottie's Bed & Breakfast -- Snow-blind -- Gift
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
254 pages
Isbn
9780812989403
Lccn
2016020620
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
System control number
(OCoLC)982113827
Label
Anything is possible, Elizabeth Strout
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
The sign -- Windmills -- Cracked -- The hit-thumb theory -- Mississippi Mary -- Sister -- Dottie's Bed & Breakfast -- Snow-blind -- Gift
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
254 pages
Isbn
9780812989403
Lccn
2016020620
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
System control number
(OCoLC)982113827

Library Locations

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      33.38561 -84.669793

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