We’ve sourced some of the most interesting and thought-provoking Elizabeth Strout Quotes. Each of the following quotes is overflowing with creativity, and knowledge.
I don’t especially like to travel, not the way many people do. I know many people that love to go to far-off and different places, and I’ve never been like that. I seem to get homesick as quickly as a child.
I don’t know if I have a memory of not thinking I was a writer – it goes that far back. I went to law school because I didn’t know how to earn a living otherwise. I tried to ignore the pull, but it wouldn’t let me.
In the kind of New England I’m from, you are expected to stay and marry somebody from New England – well, Maine, actually – so I think it was seen as a betrayal when I left for New York, which has been my refuge.
Without a doubt my mother was an inspiration for my writing. This is true in many ways, but mostly because she is a wonderful storyteller, without even knowing it.
I love theater. I love sitting in an audience and having the actors right there, playing out what it means to be a human being.
I don’t ever really know where I get my characters from.
Bullies are just frightened people.
I’ve always been tremendously interested in criminal law. It goes to a deep interest I have in prisons and the criminal element, and what we do as a society with it. I’ve always been touched by the idea of criminality.
I don’t want to live in Maine full time, but the physical beauty is very striking. It is the exact opposite of New York. When you walk through my small town to get a cup of coffee, you bump into five people you know.
I love the comfort of daily life’s routines: things like being able to read a paper on the subway. It’s no accident that my favourite word is ‘quotidian.’
My first job was when I was about 12, cleaning houses in the afternoons for different elderly women in town. I hated it.
I love arranging the words and having them fall on the ear the right way, and you know you’re not quite there, and you’re redoing it and redoing it, and there’s a wonderful thrill to it. But it is hard. It’s a job of tremendous anxiety for me.
The fact of the matter is I always have a really high sense of responsibility to the reader, whether it’s a few readers that I get or a lot of readers, which I was lucky enough to get with ‘Olive.’ I feel responsible to them, to deliver something as truthful and straight as I can.
‘Pnin’ by Vladimir Nabokov, which is a literally small book, fit right in my common law book. I would sit in class and read it.
If you get divorced in New York, you go into therapy and will talk to anybody you meet on the sidewalk about it.
I was a pretty terrible lawyer. A really, really terrible lawyer.
I got a gerontology certificate a million years ago along with my law degree, so I’ve been interested in older people for many years. Some people grow up with a lot of kids around, but I just grew up with a lot of old people.
The purpose of fiction is not to make people seem nice. What makes anyone think people are nice? Look around you!
I like people a lot, but I am not comfortable in literary New York situations. There is deep anxiety and tension around success here. I don’t share problems I’m having about my work, and I think conversations around publishing are boring.
I sometimes miss the sense of excitement that I remember having when I was younger. I miss that sense of, ‘Oh wow.’ I think it’s part of aging.
For years I did most of my reading on the F train between Brooklyn and Manhattan. I had long commutes, and I read tons of books on that train; I loved it.
I don’t think there’s anybody I write about who I don’t care for deeply in some way, no matter what their behavior is.
I don’t think of myself as a fast reader. I just read a lot. When someone else might think, ‘I might do the dishes,’ I don’t. But then the dishes multiply.
I don’t think there was a particular book that made me want to write. They all did. I always wanted to write.
I’m writing for my ideal reader, for somebody who’s willing to take the time, who’s willing to get lost in a new world, who’s willing to do their part. But then I have to do my part and give them a sound and a voice that they believe in enough to keep going.
I do reread, kind of obsessively, partly for the surprise of how the same book reads at a different point in life, and partly to have the sense of returning to an old friend.
As a novelist, I like the contained drama and complexity of the courtroom, though I don’t watch those shows on TV. I prefer the hospital shows because I wanted to be a doctor.
I’m drawn to New England because that’s where my roots are, and I miss it. I come from many generations of New Englanders, and so, in my writing, I’ve been drawn back there to the landscape and the light and the type of personality that’s revealed.
I do write by hand. I just think – I don’t know, it’s a physical thing for me. It’s a bodily thing. It literally has to earn its way through my hand.
My parents were very, very, very strict.