Friday, June 01, 2012

Signed Encounters of the Firsts Kind: Elizabeth Strout in New York City May 31, 2012

Elizabeth Strout, author of several novels including the amazing, Pulitzer Prize winning Olive Kitteridge (Random House, 2008), spoke at The Center for Fiction in New York City last night. Strout was joined by Rick Moody and Susan Minot in a discussion of the short stories of John Cheever. Cheever, who died in 1982 (interesting article here) has had an enormous impact on all three authors, each of whom read briefly from his stories and commented on Cheever's influence.

Strout admitted an obsession with Cheever and the panel seemed to lament the fact that the current generation of grad students and workshop writers are not as familiar with Cheever as they could be. The story of his personal life is riveting--Cheever struggled with alcoholism and depression--but last night's discussion focused on the work of this self-taught writer, and last night the audiance certainly gained a more complete understanding of his writing.

Strout warmly signed a few books at the end of the night. The two signatures below were done minutes apart, and it may be interesting to see how the same author's signature can change in one night (see the "s").

If you haven't read it, Olive Kitteridge is one of the most enjoyable recent Pulitzer winners for my money.

It is odd to me that there are so few F-NF, non-remaindered signed copies of this book on the market. Perhaps Strout does not make many public appearances. I remember being challenged to acquire a first printing of this book the year it was released, so I wonder about the size of the print run.


1 comment:

Mike Wehmeyer said...

Hi Eric, Mike here. I'm surprised Strout hasn't been more visible since she won the Pulitzer. A few appearances, but not many. Any indication that she's working on a new book? I agree that collector quality, non-remaindered copies of Olive Kitteridge are difficult to find. Unfortunately, the ARC doesn't list a print run.