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Best of the National Book Festival: Elizabeth Strout, 2017

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Welcome to our ongoing celebration of the Library of Congress National Book Festival. Each weekday, we will feature a video presentation from among the thousands of authors who have appeared at the National Book Festival and as part of our new year-long series, National Book Festival Presents. Mondays will feature topical nonfiction; Tuesday: poetry or literary fiction; Wednesday: history, biography, memoir; Thursday: popular fiction; and Friday: authors who write for children and teens. Please enjoy, and make sure to explore our full National Book Festival video collection!

Elizabeth Strout, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Olive Kitteridge,” appeared on the Fiction stage of the 2017 Library of Congress National Book Festival with Marie Arana, the Library’s literary director. Strout has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in England. Her short stories have been published in a number of magazines, including The New Yorker and O: The Oprah Magazine.

Strout begins by talking about her mother, whom she calls in the dedication to “Olive Kitteridge” “the best storyteller” she knew. “She’s still the best storyteller I know,” says Strout. “She made things magical for me.” Her new book at the time was “Anything Is Possible,” about a cast of small-town characters coping with love and loss. Q&A begins at 31:15.

The 2020 Library of Congress National Book Festival will celebrate its 20th birthday this year. You can get up-to-the-minute news, schedule updates and other important festival information by subscribing to this blog. The festival is made possible by the generosity of sponsors. You too can support the festival by making a gift now.