They are familiar tales and yet utterly distinctive from one another, with startling details that suggest the perversity of flailing souls who misread their own intentions. Don’t ever worry about story. My Name Is Lucy Barton review – unspoken truths and new beginnings . Theatre Review by Howard Miller - January 15, 2020. Linney’s presence here is deferential, almost shy. Tickets Through Feb. 29 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater; manhattantheatreclub.com. Her mother echoes, “People.” It’s a gorgeous moment of fleeting complicity between mother and daughter. My Name Is Lucy Barton, from 2016, much admired by some, was too arid for my taste, its self-pitying heroine too unpleasant. (When the great actress Vanessa Redgrave performed the great writer Joan Didion’s memoir “The Year of Magical Thinking” on Broadway, the result wasn’t a doubled greatness, but a dilution of the singular strengths of each. A New York writer who grew up in rural Illinois, Lucy Barton is surely someone we can trust to speak plain. Elizabeth Strout’s atmospheric novel, “My Name Is Lucy Barton,” comes to the stage as a glum, gray dud. • To order My Name Is Lucy Barton for £10.39 (RRP £12.99) go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. Do read "My Name Is Lucy Barton" first to fully appreciate "Anything Is Possible." Scenic and costumes design by Bob Crowley. Read it. This is a glorious novel, deft, tender and true. Video projections and changes in lighting transform the hospital-room set into scenes from Lucy Barton’s Illinois childhood. My Name Is Lucy Barton is a short, sparse novel and every word, every incident related is carefully chosen. Back by popular demand, the show returned to the London stage in 2019, and will be making its Broadway debut in January 2020. --San Francisco Chronicle "A short novel about love, particularly the complicated love between mothers and daughters, but also simpler, more sudden bonds . Laura Linney in My Name Is Lucy Barton. But “My Name Is Lucy Barton” is the story of a daughter who loved her mother, and that is a very different story. In Elizabeth Strout’s deeply affecting novel, the eponymous heroine endeavours to make sense of her story in spite of the vagaries of memory, the power of collective denial and the masterful ability of those closest to her to shroud her emotional needs in misunderstandings and repression. My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout review – powerful storytelling There is a moment in My Name Is Lucy Barton when the protagonist, struggling to find her voice on a creative writing course, is advised: “You will have only one story… The setting of the play is largely a hospital room, evoked in Bob Crowley’s set by little more than an institutional chair and bed, with transformative lighting by Peter Mumford. Read more. Through Lucy Barton, Strout has made a remarkable virtue of the novelist's trick - often missed - of telling enough but not too much. The Bridge Theatre. Reviewed by Fiona Mountford; Thursday 7 June 2018 08:00 Through Lucy Barton, Strout has made a remarkable virtue of the novelist's trick - often missed - of telling enough but not too much. Laura Linney pours the breath of life into Broadway's My Name Is Lucy Barton, based on the novel by Olive Kitteridge author Elizabeth Strout. Yet, it sometimes feels rudderless. (Video design by Luke Halls, which turns the hospital window into an aperture onto a hazy past, is fine, though I could have done without the intrusive melancholy music.). That’s part of what makes life so sad; it is an even larger part of what makes life so wondrously fascinating. . From the Author. Elizabeth Strout’s bestselling novel “My Name Is Lucy Barton” looks, at first glance, like a curious choice for a theatrical adaptation. Strout conveys immense poignancy in the solace Lucy manages to take from these interactions nonetheless: “I was so happy. Read more. But what Linney is being asked to do here is to embody not only a fictional person but also the literary voice that shaped that person. But Lucy conveys an abiding air of surprise that all this happened to her. But Lucy also knows that full transparency does not equal full knowledge. But Strout can go emotionally large as well. Paul T Davies reviews Laura Linney in My Name Is Lucy Barton now playing at the Bridge Theatre Laura Linney in My Name Is Lucy Barton. Aside to Everyone Else: Read the book, and you will know why this is a compliment. My Name Is Lucy Barton review – unspoken truths and new beginnings. And though she begins reluctantly, Lucy’s mother turns out to be a corn country Scheherazade, with successive stories of local women who aspired above their station and usually came to bad ends. Elizabeth Strout: ‘a storyteller immersed in the nuances of relationships’. But “My Name Is Lucy Barton” is the story of a daughter who loved her mother, and that is a very different story. My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99. It's clear that Lucy's mother, Lydia, remembers certain things very … And they of course aren’t the whole truth. The sense of isolation is palpable and Strout creates a tragic portrayal of a lifetime’s loneliness: “Loneliness was the first flavour I had tasted in my life, and it was always there, hidden in the crevices of my mouth, reminding me.” It is this loneliness, Lucy confides to the reader, that prompted her to become a writer: “Books made me feel less alone… I thought: I will write and people will not feel so alone!”, You wonder if Lucy’s medical condition, undiagnosed throughout the novel, might be psychosomatic; in another setting, she could be the perfect subject for a Freudian case study on hysteria. And I MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON is a short 200 page novella jam-packed with emotional substance. Elizabeth Strout’s atmospheric novel, “My Name Is Lucy Barton,” comes to the stage as a glum, gray dud. Photo: Matthew Murphy. ), a short, stark novel about the ways we break and maintain the bonds of family. Adapted by Rona Munro. As for subjects closer to their Amgash, Ill., home, especially Lucy’s tormented father, her mother sidesteps those with discomfort and disapproval. The novel – narrated by the protagonist from the vantage point of the future, both with the benefit of hindsight and the unreliability of memory – takes places over five nights in the mid-1980s. What a relief to be in the company, for once, of a thoroughly reliable narrator. This means that the truths she is telling hurt — us and her. MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON is a title that announces itself with "Call me Ishmael" forthrightness. Click here to order a copy for £10.39, An exploration of the love between mother and daughter is both affecting and wise, Olive Kitteridge box set review – a darkly knotted mess of lust, crime, affairs and heartbreak. Strout avoids sentimentality by imbuing Lucy's narrative with a pervasive sense of uncertainty Video design by Luke Halls. This is an important distinction to make, since Linney is not trying to create another, autonomous character here. She is separated from her husband and two daughters, aged five and six, whom she misses desperately. If … It evokes these connections in a style so spare, so pure and so profound the book almost seems to be a kind of scripture or sutra, if a very down-to-earth and unpretentious one ― Newsday. Lucy did not, though. Lucy was raised in extreme poverty by parents who were not able to nurture and show her love in the manner that most children need. The caricature in the imitation underscores the distance between what Lucy came from and what she has become. Ideally cast as a plain-spoken woman made of quiet steel, she acts the way Elizabeth Strout writes in this compelling adaptation of the 2016 novel. Sound design by John Leonard. Laura Linney pours the breath of life into Broadway's My Name Is Lucy Barton, based on the novel by Olive Kitteridge author Elizabeth Strout. 36 people found this helpful. More more on … Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes. But her slender, tremendously affecting 2016 novel, My Name Is Lucy Barton, is as direct, deceptively straightforward and singularly focused as its title implies. This is where many years ago, a younger Lucy spent nearly nine weeks of her existence, with a life-threatening infection that is never fully identified. It is for her daughter to fill in those gaps for us, with accounts of the kind of numbing, oppressive and outright abusive existence that so many people accept as a life sentence. My Name is Lucy Barton does not conform to any of the conventional ideas about dramatic structure. Open this photo in gallery: The new novel by Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout, shown in … Strout’s lack of sentimentality creates a powerful image of a childhood steeped not just in financial hardship, but in cultural and emotional deprivation: Lucy’s is a childhood devoid of books, magazines, TV, neighbours. My Name Is Lucy Barton. It's a story of a daughter who so loves her mother despite her unpleasant childhood, a daughter who so wants the approval and love of her mother in return. ‘My Name is Lucy Barton’ returns in January 2019.I have not read Elizabeth Strout’s 2016 novel ‘My Name is Lucy Barton’. Give her time; she’ll come back to it. Not only does her illness afford her nine weeks of daily visits from a kindly Jewish doctor “to whom I felt a deep attachment”, it brings her mother rushing to her bedside, with the possibility not just of reconciliation, but of cure: “Her being there, using my pet name, which I had not heard in ages, made me feel warm and liquid-filled, as though all my tension had been a solid thing and now was not.” With her mother holding vigil, Lucy is relieved of the insomnia that has plagued her in hospital: “That night I slept without waking, and in the morning my mother was sitting where she had been the day before.”, Lucy may be hoping for an emotional reunion, but her mother embarks on a series of anecdotes about people they once knew – friends, relations, acquaintances – whose failed marriages and emotional breakdowns are recounted like cautionary morality tales. It sounds like one of those inspirational survivor stories, of success against the odds, which are regularly packaged for mass consumption. But she is also possessed of an underlying strength that knows that she has had what it takes to not only endure but prevail. From the moment she enters, walking quickly and talking briskly, you sense that it requires conscious, self-preaching will power for her to tell us all this. Plays adapted as monologues from memoirs and close first-person fiction are seldom satisfying onstage. 1/12 My Name is Lucy Barton - in pictures. But aren’t we grateful for the alchemical, unquantifiable mix of factors that allows this woman — embodied by this actress, at this moment, in this place — to share with us so raptly what she knows, or even thinks she knows? When Lucy speaks as her mother, it’s with a sort of descriptive physical shorthand, conjuring sharp edges and a nasal twang. my name is lucy barton by Elizabeth Strout ‧ RELEASE DATE: Jan. 5, 2016 From Pulitzer Prize– winning Strout ( The Burgess Boys , 2013, etc. Unexpectedly, her mother, from whom she has been estranged for years, arrives at her bedside. My Name Is Lucy Barton confirms Strout as a powerful storyteller immersed in the nuances of human relationships, weaving family tapestries with compassion, wisdom and insight. It doesn’t flop hard — with its limited ambition, it has no height from which to fall. It's clear that Lucy's mother, Lydia, remembers certain things very differently to the way Lucy does. Review My Name Is Lucy Barton. Top critical review. And Elizabeth Strout’s haunting new novel is, in fact, a kind of book-within-a-book, framed as a memoir or possibly an autobiographical novel. ), Linney and Strout, in contrast, are almost seamlessly well-matched. Aside to Everyone Else: Read the book, and you will know why this is a compliment. ... My Name is Lucy Barton review: Laura Linney is compelling and careful in one-woman show. And yet mystery — truly unfathomable and utterly ordinary — is at the center of this deceptively modest Manhattan Theater Club production, which originated in London and is directed with quiet care by Richard Eyre. ‘My Name is Lucy Barton’ returns in January 2019.I have not read Elizabeth Strout’s 2016 novel ‘My Name is Lucy Barton’. My Name Is Lucy Barton confirms Strout as a powerful storyteller immersed in the nuances of human relationships, weaving family tapestries with compassion, wisdom and insight. Laura Linney as a New York writer recalling her past in “My Name Is Lucy Barton” at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater. It is the silences, the ellipses in conversations that articulate the emotional truths of relationships. Christina Patterson. Every breath of Linney’s performance acknowledges this contradiction. Lucy’s mother is unable to tell her daughter she loves her except “when your eyes are closed” and there is a quietly devastating tragedy about the way Lucy endeavours to make peace with this: “I feel that people may not understand that my mother could never say the words I love you… It was all right.” And yet this is a novel about love: about the complicated, complex love between a mother and daughter. You will have only one.”. My Name is Lucy Barton. In the scenes that follow, Lucy often becomes her mother — or rather Linney becomes Lucy becoming her mother. But now, in extremis, all Lucy wants is mommy, and she wants mommy to tell her stories. Aside to Elizabeth Strout: YOU are a ruthless writer! Opened Jan. 15, 2020. Top critical review. by Elizabeth Strout. Strout avoids sentimentality by imbuing Lucy's narrative with a pervasive sense of uncertainty My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout, book review. ‘Lucy Barton’ Review: Laura Linney Finds Her Perfect Match. “My Name Is Lucy Barton” — like all of Strout’s fiction — is more complex than it first appears, and all the more emotionally persuasive for it. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Feelings seem to register on her face before her thoughts have a chance to catch up with them, so that we know when she’s hurting or happy almost before she does. My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout. My Name Is Lucy Barton tells the story of a woman, named Lucy, as she recovers from an illness and tries to make sense of/peace with her complicated relationship with her mother. Review. My Name is Lucy Barton is a 2016 New York Times bestselling novel and the fifth novel by the American writer Elizabeth Strout. Still, My Name Is Lucy Barton is much larger and far more resonant than the sum of these parts. For many years I thought that tree was my friend; it was my friend.' Also My Name is Lucy Barton suggests that watching one character ruminate a bout her life following a mysterious illness can catalyze an audience’s own personal reflections and revelations; in this sense, it’s profound. My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout review: a light that never goes out This is a magnificent book, one that explores much hurt and darkness without … Transforming My Name Is Lucy Barton from page to stage in such engrossing manner is quite a feat on the part of the actor, as well as Strout, Munro, and Eyre. My Name is Lucy Barton - in pictures. ‘My Name Is Lucy Barton’ Review: Portrait of Perseverance Laura Linney stars in a solo show about a woman who overcomes a mysterious illness, an abusive childhood and an emotionally absent mother. My Name Is Lucy Barton is a short, sparse novel and every word, every incident related is carefully chosen. And using the artfully shaded directness she has shown both on film (“You Can Count on Me”) and stage (“Sight Unseen,” “The Little Foxes”), Linney indeed acts the way that Strout writes. It is also the work of a more mature writer, scaling new heights. I’m not referring to the classic suspense-making withholding of information that is usually a requisite of entertaining storytelling. “ My Name is Lucy Barton was a different kind of book for me, and writing it surprised me. When Lucy says, with a satisfaction that’s bigger than happiness, that “all life amazes me,” we feel exactly what she means. ‘My Name is Lucy Barton’: Theater Review Laura Linney reprises her starring role in the one-person play that premiered in London last year. To order a copy for £10.39 go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. As a storyteller, Strout’s Lucy is almost apologetic in her humility. Still, My Name Is Lucy Barton is much larger and far more resonant than the sum of these parts. It doesn’t flop hard — with its limited ambition, it has no height from which to fall. Manuel Harlan. 2/12 My Name is Lucy Barton - in pictures. But her slender, tremendously affecting 2016 novel, My Name Is Lucy Barton, is as direct, deceptively straightforward and singularly focused as its title implies. Oh, I was happy speaking with my mother this way!”. My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout, book review. Published: 11 Dec 2016 My Name Is Lucy Barton review – unspoken truths and new beginnings. Theater review by Adam Feldman . Photo: Manuel Harlan. 36 people found this helpful. Why? This review is from June 2018. Nor do I mean those moments in which Lucy, recalling a loveless childhood in poverty on an isolated farm, slams on the brakes of her narrative as she stumbles on a memory she would rather not talk about now. But when Lucy says she has become ruthless — as those who first knew she wanted to be a writer advised her she would have to be — we believe her. My Name is Lucy Barton, Bridge Theatre, London, review: Laura Linney is luminous in this one-woman show. Last modified on Fri 25 Oct 2019 16.41 BST, There is a moment in My Name Is Lucy Barton when the protagonist, struggling to find her voice on a creative writing course, is advised: “You will have only one story… You’ll write your one story many ways. In June 2018 Laura made her London theatre debut in Richard Eyre’s limited three-week run of My Name Is Lucy Barton, the stage play adapted from the Elizabeth Strout novel of the same name and opened to rave reviews. “Except I do know it, I think. The title character of “My Name Is Lucy Barton,” Rona Munro’s crystalline stage adaptation of Elizabeth Strout’s 2016 novel, is hardly a woman of mystery. The magic that pulses in a book can disintegrate when these same words are interpreted by a performer who isn’t, as it were, on the same page. The title character of “My Name Is Lucy Barton,” Rona Munro’s crystalline stage adaptation of Elizabeth Strout’s 2016 novel, is hardly a woman of mystery. Read it. In this follow-up to My Name Is Lucy Barton, sharply compassionate stories find suffering, pity and grace in smalltown America Elizabeth Lowry Sat … “I still am not sure it’s a true memory,” Lucy says, after describing the sadistic public humiliation of her brother by her father on the streets of a small town. This review is from June 2018. There's a veil of ambiguity over the whole novel that made me constantly question what I was reading. Because of course we can’t know the full truth of any person, including our own self. This is a glorious novel, deft, tender and true. There is a profound isolation to the title character, played by Laura Linney, in the Broadway solo play My Name Is Lucy Barton.. “In spite of my … Given My Name Is Lucy Barton's distinguished literary cache and the casting of Linney to narrate Lucy's story the staged monologue Rona Munro has fashioned from its source had me arrive at the Friedman with high hopes that it would display sturdy enough theatrical legs to add it to my memory book of genuinely stage-worthy solo plays. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Aside to Elizabeth Strout: YOU are a ruthless writer! There's a veil of ambiguity over the whole novel that made me constantly question what I was reading. Other actresses have beautifully portrayed Strout characters onscreen, notably Frances McDormand in “Olive Kitteridge.”. Reviewed Jan. 11. While I hope for all my books to provide the reader with a kind of intimate experience this one seems particularly available for that, I think. On the contrary, as embodied with middle-American forthrightness by a perfectly cast Laura Linney, in the production that opened Wednesday at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater, Lucy may be the most translucent figure now on a New York stage. Review: Elizabeth Strout’s My Name Is Lucy Barton is an exploration of memory. Her trajectory from childhood to college, to marriage and motherhood, and ultimately to a career as a successful fiction writer, is fairly conventional in summary. The story begins with Lucy, now a published fiction writer, remembering a time, 20 or more years ago, when she was felled by an undiagnosable disease, a sort of visitation of sickness, and ended up in a New York City hospital for a prolonged stay. Her hospitalization reunites her with the mother she hasn’t seen in years. See all 1,210 critical reviews › RunSueRun. 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