My Name is Lucy Barton
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The Washington Post - The New York Times Book Review - NPR - BookPage - LibraryReads - Minneapolis Star Tribune - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn't spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy's childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy's life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable.
LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE
Praise for My Name Is Lucy Barton
"A quiet, sublimely merciful contemporary novel about love, yearning, and resilience in a family damaged beyond words."--The Boston Globe
"It is Lucy's gentle honesty, complex relationship with her husband, and nuanced response to her mother's shortcomings that make this novel so subtly powerful."--San Francisco Chronicle
"A short novel about love, particularly the complicated love between mothers and daughters, but also simpler, more sudden bonds . . . It evokes these connections in a style so spare, so pure and so profound the book almost seems to be a kind of scripture or sutra, if a very down-to-earth and unpretentious one."--Newsday
"Spectacular . . . Smart and cagey in every way. It is both a book of withholdings and a book of great openness and wisdom. . . . Strout] is in supreme and magnificent command of this novel at all times."--Lily King, The Washington Post
"An aching, illuminating look at mother-daughter devotion."--People
"This slim, perceptive novel packs more sentiment and pain into its unsparingly honest and forthright prose than novels two and three times as long. Strout . . . has always awed us with her ability to put into words the mysterious and unfathomable ways in which people cherish each other."--Chicago Tribune
I am deeply impressed. Writing of this quality comes from a commitment to listening, from a perfect attunement to the human condition, from an attention to reality so exact that it goes beyond a skill and becomes a virtue. I have never read her before and I knew within a few sentences that here was an artist to value and respect -- Hilary Mantel Strout's best novel yet -- Ann Patchett An exquisite novel... in its careful words and vibrating silences, My Name Is Lucy Barton offers us a rare wealth of emotion, from darkest suffering to - 'I was so happy. Oh, I was happy' - simple joy -- Claire Messud, New York Times Book Review So good I got goosebumps... a masterly novel of family ties by one of America's finest writers Sunday Times My Name is Lucy Barton confirms Strout as a powerful storyteller immersed in the nuances of human relationships... Deeply affecting novel...visceral and heartbreaking...If she hadn't already won the Pulitzer for Olive Kitteridge this new novel would surely be a contender Observer Hypnotic...yielding a glut of profoundly human truths to do with flight, memory and longing Mail on Sunday This is a book you'll want to return to again and again and again Irish Independent Slim and spectacular...My Name Is Lucy Barton is smart and cagey in every way. It starts with the clean, solid structure and narrative distance of a fairy tale yet becomes more intimate and improvisational, coming close at times to the rawness of autofiction by writers such as Karl Ove Knausgaard and Rachel Cusk. Strout is playing with form here, with ways to get at a story, yet nothing is tentative or haphazard. She is in supreme and magnificent command of this novel at all times... Washington Post My Name Is Lucy Barton is a short novel about love, particularly the complicated love between mothers and daughters... It evokes these connections in a style so spare, so pure and so profound the book almost seems to be a kind of scripture or sutra, if a very down-to-earth and unpretentious one Newsday Her concise writing is a masterclass in deceptive simplicity...Strout writes with an exacting rhythm, with each word and clause perfectly placed and weighted and each sentence as clear and bracing as grapefruit. It's a small masterpiece Daily Mail This short, simple, quiet novel wriggles its way right into your heart and stays there Red A beautifully taut novel Guardian Agleam with extraordinary psychological insights...delicate, tender but ruthless reveries Sunday Express An eerie, compelling novel, its deceptively simple language is a 'slight rush of words' which hold much more than they seem capable of containing...This novel is about the need to create a story we can live with when the real story cannot be told... Financial Times Strout uses a different voice herself in this novel: a spare simple one, elegiac in tone that sometimes brings to mind Joan Didion's The Tablet An exquisitely written story...a brutally honest, absorbing and emotive read Catholic Universe This is a glorious novel, deft, tender and true. Read it Sunday Telegraph Honest, intimate and ultimately unforgettable Stylist Sympathetic, subtle and sometimes shocking -- Emma Healey Plain and beautiful...Strout writes with an extraordinary tenderness and restraint -- Kate Summerscale One of this year's best novels: an intense, beautiful book about a mother and a daughter, and the difficulty and ambivalence of family life -- Marcel Theroux Elizabeth Strout's prose is like words doing jazz -- Rachel Joyce Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge is the best novel I've read for some time -- David Nicholls
Elizabeth Strout is the Pulitzer prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge, as well as The Burgess Boys, a New York Times bestseller, Abide With Me and Amy and Isabelle, which won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize. She lives in New York City and Portland, Maine.