Pulitzer Book Club Inclusion Guide

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GET THE BOOK

"Olive Kitteridge" by Elizabeth Strout

INCLUSION MILESTONES

2009

• Stephen Hawking throws party for time travelers
• Hate Crime Prevention Act
• Rosa's Law replaces term “mental retardation" with “intellectual disability”

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AUTHOR INSPIRATIONS

Elizabeth Strout grew up in small town Maine and was a college English teacher. She earned a certificate in Gerontology and was age 56 when Olive Kitteridge was published.

Featured Reader Wanted!

Featured Reader

– Share your key take-away about inclusion in this book in a sentence or two.
– Write a paragraph or two (up to 250 words) to describe your thoughts on exclusion/inclusion in the book, why you related or did not connect with the book, and why you think reading, inclusion and dialog about inclusion matter.
– Identify the name and website address of a cause you support with an inclusive mission.

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Crotchety, big, old lady interacts with small town Maine neighbors

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Daughter-in-law Dr. Sue trash-talks her mother-of-the-bride dress, so Olive trashes Sue’s sweater with a marker, steals one shoe and snags a piece of jewelry.

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Short stories with reoccurring characters connected via relationships with an older person, Olive Kitteridge.

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Quick read at 320 or 12 audio hours

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Persevere. You’re never too old to get better.

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Olive is an atypical central character:an older, vibrant female who happens to be big.Community where the novel is set is very much White and interconnected.

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Share some donuts. And get sloppy with some ice cream.

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“You just don’t like rich white men.”

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Stage the meeting in more than one person's home. Or in a hospital lobby.

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What kind of people are you drawn to now, that you didn’t have time for earlier in your life?
How can diversity be fostered in a small town?
How can neighbors and teachers support people and their family members who are experiencing depression, infidelity, anorexia, dementia, and substance abuse.
How can a community help to prevent and support the families affected by suicide?

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Stay in a town that feels like fictional Crosby, in Maine if that’s possible. Find a diner with a view of water and wildflowers; watch to make sure no one nearly drowns or uses a shotgun. Talk to the nice people in the pharmacy. Do not steal anything from the hardware store. Have a few in the cocktail lounge; tip and complement the pianist. Hang out in an ER waiting room and count your blessings. Brighten someone’s day in a nursing home. If you visit a family member in NYC on the way home, be nice.

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2014 HBO mini series Olive Kitteridge

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2019 novel: Olive, Again