Episode 105 - Richard Russo: Part 5

10Mar

The final part of our epic chat with Richard Russo asks an epic question: what has it been like to write novels for 30 years? Having chewed over that question we move onto some other big topics, including posterity, death and what comes next (not the afterlife, just what is Russo's next project). 

Finally, we ask: will there be another chapter to Donald Sullivan's adventures? Everybody's Fool is available everywhere right now. We urge you to read it at once.

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Episode 104 - Richard Russo: Part 4

5Mar

'This is not an attempt on my part to portray myself as anything like a prophet. I simply was born somewhere...I got to bear witness to something that was tremendously important to me and my family.'

In this fourth and penultimate This Writing Life interview with Richard Russo, we begin with the fictional small-town of Bath that is found in both Nobody's Fool and its sequel Everybody's Fool. Russo discusses his own personal and artistic relationship with small-town life, taking in his childhood in Gloversville and how it has informed much of his work. From here we meander towards death, in fiction and life, with a cheerier side-track marked: how to begin a novel? Keep reading →

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Episode 103 - Richard Russo: Part 3

26Feb

'I have always been a meanderer. I have always loved digression.'

So says Richard Russo in part three of This Writing Life's conversation with the Pulitzer Prize winning novelist. We approach the subject of comic meandering, initially as a way to explore through narrative ideas of luck, fate and free will. We digress through a peroration about self-made men, including President Donald Trump, and Brexit towards a deeper consideration of digression in Russo's new novel, Everybody's Fool, and his work as a whole. (A small warning: the final four minutes of this interview contain a spoiler alert about the end of Everybody's Fool).

Keep reading →

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Episode 102 - Richard Russo: Part 2

13Feb

Part two of This Writing Life's conversation with Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo begins with the idea of sequels: his new novel, Everybody's Fool is a follow-up to Russo's masterpiece, Nobody's Fool. What are the risks of continuing a story that is not just admired but loved? Did Russo intend to write a sequel to Donald 'Sully' Sullivan's adventures. What made him return in the first place? What was it like to revisit characters who were created over 20 years before?

Keep reading →

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Episode 101 - Richard Russo: Part 1

7Feb

Part 1 of This Writing Life's interview with the great American comic writer begins in media res. Russo is telling me about signing 9000 copies of his new novel, Everybody's Fool, in a warehouse in Maryland. Russo has recovered enough to discuss the idea of signed copies and what to do with his own personal archive. Keep reading →

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Episode 100 - Richard Russo reads from Everybody’s Fool

31Jan

For the 100th episode of This Writing Life, we celebrate with a very special instalment. Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Richard Russo reads from his wonderful, warm, funny and mordant new book Everybody's Fool. A sequel to one of our favourite novels - 1993's Nobody's Fool - it returns the reader to the life, opinions and travails of Donald 'Sully' Sullivan in the small upstate New York town of North Bath.

In this scene from the distant past (the character Wirf Saks has died by Everybody's Fool), Sully and Wirf settle down in the local bar to discuss the sex addiction of the irrepressible Carl Roebuck.

Enjoy.

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Episode 83 - This Writing Life Special: Richard Russo on 2016’s US Presidential Election

2Nov

Richard Russo has written 11 books, 8 screenplays, won a Pulitzer Prize (for Empire Falls), and most recently published the excellent Everybody's Fool, the sequel to one of This Writing Life's favourite novels, Nobody's Fool.

When we met in London, we talked about everything from book signings to working with Paul Newman. Russo also discussed Clinton-Trump and the 2016 US Presidential Race. This Writing Life posts it now as a Special Podcast. The exchange begins with some general chatter on confusion and self-made men.

Our lengthy interview with Richard will be posted later in 2016.

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