The Burgess Boys (Hardcover)
|Author: Elizabeth Strout|
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|The acclaimed author of "Olive Kitteridge" returns with a stunning novel as powerful and moving as any work in contemporary literature. Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, the Burgess brothers are called home from their successful lives in New York.|
While she cites the work of John Cheever, Oscar Hijuelos, and Alice Munro among her literary inspirations, the most readily identifiable influence on Elizabeth Strout's work would seem to be her childhood in New England. She was born in Portland, Maine in 1956, and though Strout and her family frequently changed homes while she was growing up, they always remained in the neighboring states of Maine and New Hampshire. Not surprisingly, her first three novels prominently feature small New England towns as their settings. After attending Bates College in Maine, Strout spent a year at Oxford before returning to the states to study law at Syracuse. Despite graduating from law school with honors, she immediately focused on establishing a writing career by sending her work to various magazines and literary journals. Diligence has been a mark of Strout's career: she spent more than five years writing each of her first two novels, AMY AND ISABELLE, which won her the LA Times Art Seidenbaum award for best first fiction, and ABIDE BY ME, which garnered similar critical success. Her breakthrough came with 2008's OLIVE KITTERIDGE, a collection of short stories that circle around a retired schoolteacher in Crosby, Maine, which won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
"Strout conveys what it feels like to be an outsider very well....But the details are so keenly observed, you can connect with the characters despite their apparent isolation...[A] gracefully written novel." - Melissa Maerz 03/29/2013