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?

From here we moved onto:

  • Russo's relationship with his father: 'It shouldn't have been surprising that he had more to say'
  • Russo's relationship with Paul Newman, who played Sully in Robert Benton's film adaptation of Nobody's Fool
  • what did Newman see in the character of Sully?
  • 'I think Paul became a different actor after his son died'
  • age and destiny: Russo and Sully
  • 'At 67, I am trying to understand what has happened to me...I am beginning to see the shape of my life...How the fuck did that happen?'
  • the comedy of life-changing moments: 'All the things in my life that have worked out for the very best...are the results of the stupidest things I could have conceivably done'
  • Russo and his mother: success, failure and American road trips

Part 3 to follow.

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