My Name Is Lucy Barton

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My Name Is Lucy Barton
My Name Is Lucy Barton cover.png
First edition hardback cover
AuthorElizabeth Strout
Audio read byKimberly Farr
CountryUnited States
PublisherRandom House
Media typePrint, e-book, audiobook
Pages208 pages
Preceded byThe Burgess Boys 

My Name is Lucy Barton is a 2016 New York Times bestselling novel and the fifth novel by the American writer Elizabeth Strout.[1] It was first published in the United States on January 12, 2016 through Random House. The book details the complicated relationship between the titular Lucy Barton and her mother.

In July 2016, it was longlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize. The book was also shortlisted for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award[2]. The novel was also adapted for the theatre by Rona Munro as a one-woman show, with an acclaimed 2018 London production starting Laura Linney which transferred to New York in January 2020.


Growing up in a dysfunctional household, Lucy Barton had a difficult childhood. Her father was abusive and while her mother loved Lucy, she was unable to protect her or her siblings from their father's mercurial mood swings. As a result Lucy would frequently take solace in reading, which led her to realize that she wanted to become a writer. When she came of age, Lucy quickly fled the family home. Years later Lucy is hospitalized after she develops an infection following an operation. During her stay her mother comes to visit and the two reconnect after years of not speaking to one another.


Critical reception for My Name Is Lucy Barton was positive and the work received praise from the Washington Post and the AV Club.[3][4][5] The Guardian compared the book favorably to Strout's earlier book, Olive Kitteridge, saying it "confirms Strout as a powerful storyteller immersed in the nuances of human relationships, weaving family tapestries with compassion, wisdom and insight."[6] In a review with the New York Times, author Claire Messud praised the book's "beautifully too-human characters" and also drew favorable comparisons to Strout's earlier work.[7]

Stage adaptation[edit]

A monologue play adapted from the novel by Rona Munro opened at the Bridge Theatre in London in previews on June 2, 2018 and officially on June 6. The production was directed by Richard Eyre and starred Laura Linney.[8] Linney reprised her role in the play's Broadway premiere at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, with preview performances beginning on January 6, 2020 and an official opening on January 15.[9]



  1. ^ "Best Sellers - The New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  2. ^ "2018 Shortlist | International DUBLIN Literary Award". Retrieved 2018-08-07.
  3. ^ "My Name Is Lucy Barton. Strout, Elizabeth (author). (review)". Booklist. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  4. ^ King, Lily (2016-01-04). "Elizabeth Strout's 'My Name is Lucy Barton' review". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  5. ^ "My Name Is Lucy Barton is quiet, powerful, and elusive". AV Club. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  6. ^ Beckerman, Hannah (2016-02-02). "My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout review – powerful storytelling". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  7. ^ Messud, Claire (2016-01-04). "Elizabeth Strout's 'My Name Is Lucy Barton'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  8. ^ Gans, Andrew (June 7, 2018). "What Did Critics Think of My Name Is Lucy Barton, Starring Laura Linney?". Playbill. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  9. ^ Clement, Olivia (April 29, 2019). "Laura Linney to Return to Broadway in My Name Is Lucy Barton". Playbill. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  10. ^ Alice (July 27, 2016). "Man Booker Prize announces 2016 longlist". Man Booker. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  11. ^ "2018 Shortlist | International DUBLIN Literary Award". Retrieved 2018-08-07.

External links[edit]