Episode 104 - Richard Russo: Part 4


'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?Other subjects include:

  • Russo and religion
  • Russo's childhood in Gloversville, New York
  • the toxic effects of small-town industry on Russo's family
  • is small-town life dying out in America?
  • 'As a younger man I thought of [being born in a small-town] as something I would have to overcome in life...Only to come to learn that it is what has propelled my life forward...'
  • Trump, Clinton, Sanders: 'who's to blame for the loss of American productivity, who's to blame for the loss of jobs?'
  • who would Russo's characters have voted for in the 2016 election?
  • Raymer and Sully: the 'fool' in Russo's work?

Part 5 of 5 to follow.

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