Thursday, April 07, 2022

Top ten difficult marriages in fiction

Elizabeth Lowry was born in Washington DC, USA and educated in South Africa and England.

Her first novel, The Bellini Madonna, was published in 2008 to great acclaim and reissued in September 2019.

Her second novel, Dark Water, appeared in September 2018. It was The Times’s Historical Fiction Book of the Month, The Sunday Times’s Historical Fiction Critic’s Choice, The Guardian’s Book of the Day, and was chosen as a Times and New Statesman Book of the Year.

Dark Water was longlisted for the 2019 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction and for the HWA’s Gold Crown Award for 2019.

Lowry's new novel is The Chosen.

At the Guardian she tagged her ten "favourite depictions of coupledom gone wrong," including:
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

For the last 25 years Olive has been married to Henry, a self-effacing small-town pharmacist. She’s a terrible spouse. She’s irascible, blunt and never, ever apologises. Another local couple are at a concert when they see Olive come in with Henry. “I don’t know how he can stand her,” says the husband. “He loves her,” says the wife. “That’s how he can stand her.” Strout’s canny novel celebrates traditional marital values, even while acknowledging that these are rooted in fantasy.
Read about another entry on the list.

Olive Kitteridge is among Lisa Harding's six top out-of-control characters in literary fiction, Genevieve Plunkett's seven books about the search for intimacy, Emma Duffy-Comparone’s seven darkly humorous titles about relationships, Susie Yang's six titles featuring dark anti-heroines, Sara Collins's six favorite bad women in fiction, Laura Barnett's ten top unconventional love stories, and Sophie Ward's six best books.

--Marshal Zeringue