Richard Russo

Author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Empire Falls and his memoir Elsewhere

  • About Richard Russo

    Richard Russo knows small-town America. This masterful novelist has an uncanny sense of the way life works in the gritty industrial towns of the American Northeast. From the gossip and the resentments to the people and the cafes, Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Richard Russo chronicles blue-collar America in ways constantly surprising and utterly revealing.

    Russo’s previous works include seven novels and one collection of short stories. His 2001 novel, Empire Falls, won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It was also adapted into an HBO miniseries, starring Paul Newman, Ed Harris, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Helen Hunt. His latest book, Elsewhere, came out in 2012.

    Russo earned a bachelor’s degree, a master’s in fine arts, and a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. He has two daughters and lives with his wife in Camden, Maine.

  • Speaking Topics

    An Evening with Richard Russo

    Pulitzer Prize-winner Russo discusses his novels, short stories, and the character development, writing, and editing process behind his work.

    Destiny

    In this talk, Russo examines the concept of destiny—the end of a journey that, for all of us, must begin with home.

    Home

    In this lecture, Russo discusses his hometown of Gloversville, New York, as the source of fictional towns in his works (Mohawk, North Bath, Empire Falls, and Thomaston). In doing so, he sheds light on every writer's least favorite question: where does he get his ideas from?

    Humor

    In this lecture, Russo traces the source of humor in general, and of his own humor in particular, to an unlikely source: pain.

  • Video

  • Praise for Richard Russo

    Our audience of nearly 800 was thrilled to hear from one of their favorite writers and were charmed by his wit, humor and humility. It was a completely enjoyable experience to bring Richard Russo to our community and he was generous with his attention to fans, sponsors, and the media.

    Cuyahoga County Public Library

    There is a big, wry heart beating at the center of Russo’s fiction.

    The New Yorker

    Nobody does small-town life better than Richard Russo.

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Russo is one of the best novelists around.

    New York Times Book Review
  • Books by Richard Russo

  • Media About Richard Russo

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  • Richard Russo travels from Camden, ME

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