Rank outsider Elizabeth Strout has won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction with her novel, Olive Kitteridge. Strout beat a pack of literary heavyweights, including Philip Roth, John Updike, Toni Morrison, Annie Proulx, Jhumpa Lahiri, and the hot favorite Marilynne Robinson.
Set in a small town in Maine, Olive Kitteridge binds together 13 short stories. Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, hates change but rarely notices the changes taking place around her.
Strout was raised in small communities in New Hampshire and Maine. The Pulitzer judges said the book "packs a cumulative emotional wallop, bound together by polished prose and by Olive, the title character, blunt, flawed and fascinating."