Episode 103 - Richard Russo: Part 3


'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).

From here we wander backwards towards:

  • ideas of artistic control and chaos
  • what is so disturbing about parenthetical fiction?
  • Tarantino, film editing and the joy of chatter: Russo on film writing vs fiction writing
  • 'With every book there is a point at which getting lost becomes genuinely scary': the joy and panic of getting lost creatively
  • the temptation and challenge of comic invention
  • the problem of page 175: Ann Patchett on the panic of novel writing
  • the problem of Everybody's Fool: Richard Russo on the panic of novel writing
  • SPOILER ALERT!!!! Russo discusses the end of Everybody's Fool

Part 4 of 5 to follow.

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