MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Older Characters in Fiction: Background information when reading Olive, Again

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Olive, Again

A Novel

by Elizabeth Strout

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout X
Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout
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  • Published:
    Oct 2019, 304 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Rebecca Foster
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About this Book

Older Characters in Fiction

This article relates to Olive, Again

Covers of novels featuring older charactersThe elderly are often underrepresented in popular culture, and where these characters do exist, they are often one-dimensional. The most effective depictions of elderly people demonstrate that age does not limit one's ability to have an interesting inner life, new adventures, and/or the chance for romance. In short, they resist the notion that life is over when one retires or becomes a widow/widower.

One way to combat the stereotypical characterization of blank or confused elderly people is to give them a rich intellectual life. Penelope Lively's Booker Prize-winning Moon Tiger (1987) explores the layers of 76-year-old Claudia Hampton's personal history. To all appearances, there's not much going on in this old woman's head as she lies on her deathbed. Readers know better: Claudia's brain is hosting a sumptuous tour of her experiences, from meeting the love of her life as a World War II correspondent in Egypt, to participating in a film shoot in Mexico. Like Claudia, Morayo Da Silva...

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