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  • Published: 11 October 2016
  • ISBN: 9780241248782
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP: $22.99

My Name Is Lucy Barton

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge

A heart-wrenching story of mothers and daughters from the Pulitzer prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge

A mother comes to visit her daughter in hospital after having not seen her in many years. Her unexpected visit forces Lucy to confront her past, uncovering long-buried memories of a profoundly impoverished childhood; and her present, as the façade of her new life in New York begins to crumble, awakening her to the reality of her faltering marriage and her unsteady journey towards becoming a writer.

From Lucy's hospital bed, we are drawn ever more deeply into the emotional complexity of family life, the inescapable power of the past, and the memories - however painful - that bind a family together.

  • Published: 11 October 2016
  • ISBN: 9780241248782
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP: $22.99

Other books in the series

About the author

Elizabeth Strout

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.

Also by Elizabeth Strout

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Praise for My Name Is Lucy Barton

A beautifully taut novel


Agleam with extraordinary psychological insights...delicate, tender but ruthless reveries

Sunday Express

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

An exquisitely written story...a brutally honest, absorbing and emotive read

Catholic Universe

Honest, intimate and ultimately unforgettable


Hypnotic...yielding a glut of profoundly human truths to do with flight, memory and longing

Mail on Sunday

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

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

Plain and beautiful...Strout writes with an extraordinary tenderness and restraint

Kate Summerscale

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

So good I got goosebumps... a masterly novel of family ties by one of America's finest writers

Sunday Times

Strout's best novel yet

Ann Patchett

Sympathetic, subtle and sometimes shocking

Emma Healey

This is a book you'll want to return to again and again and again

Irish Independent

This is a glorious novel, deft, tender and true. Read it

Sunday Telegraph

This short, simple, quiet novel wriggles its way right into your heart and stays there


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


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


My Name Is Lucy Barton intrigues and pierces with its evocative, skin-peeling back remembrances of growing up dirt-poor.

Ann Treneman, The Times

A heart-wrenching story of mothers and daughters from the Pulitzer prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge

Publisher's description

A novel offering more hope

Daisy Goodwin, Daily Mail

A rich account of a relationship between mother and daughter, the frailty of memory and the power of healing

Mark Damazer, New Statesman

A worthy follow-up to Olive Kitteridge

David Nicholls, Guardian Books of the Year

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

An exquisite novel of careful words and vibrating silences

New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books of 2016

Elizabeth Strout's My Name is Lucy Barton shouldn't work, but its frail texture was a triumph of tenderness, and sent me back to her excellent Olive Kitteridge

Cressida Connolly, The Spectator

Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge is the best novel I've read for some time

David Nicholls

Elizabeth Strout's prose is like words doing jazz

Rachel Joyce

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

I loved My Name is Lucy Barton: she gets better with each book

Maggie O'Farrell, Guardian Books of the Year

In a brilliant year for fiction, I've admired the nuanced restraint of Elizabeth Strout's My Name is Lucy Barton

Hilary Mantel, Guardian Books of the Year

In this quiet, well observed novel, a mother and her mysteriously ill daughter rebuild their relationship in a New York hospital room. Deft and tender, it lingers in the mind

Daily Telegraph Books of the Year


Anna Murphy

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

The standout novel of the year - a visceral account of the relations between mother and daughter and the unreliability of memory

Linda Grant, Guardian Books of the Year

This physically slight book packs an unexpected emotional punch

Simon Heffer, Daily Telegraph

Discover more

A useful guide to reading Elizabeth Strout’s Lucy Barton books

Learn about Elizabeth Strout's Lucy Barton books in honour of her Booker prize longlist nomination for Oh William! Learn more about the series and the order in which we recommend reading the four books.