Elizabeth Strout (born January 6, 1956) is an American author of fiction. She was born in Portland, Maine. After graduating from Bates College, she spent a year in Oxford, England. In 1982 she graduated with honors, and received both a law degree from the Syracuse University College of Law and a Certificate of Gerontology from the Syracuse School of Social Work. Strout wrote Amy and Isabelle over the course of six or seven years, which when published was shortlisted for the 2000 Orange Prize and nominated for the 2000 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. Amy and Isabelle was made into a television movie starring Elisabeth Shue and was produced by Oprah Winfrey's studio, Harpo Films. Strout was a NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) professor at Colgate University during the Fall Semester of 2007, where she taught creative writing. She was also on the faculty of the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 2009 Strout was honored with a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for Olive Kitteridge, a collection of connected short stories she wrote about a woman and her immediate family who lived on the coast of Maine. Strout also wrote The Burgess Boys in 2013 which made The New York Times Best Seller List.
HEIDI PITLOR is a former senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and has been the series editor for The Best American Short Stories since 2007. She is the author of The Birthdays and a forthcoming novel titled The Daylight Marriage.