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Richard Russo

Richard Russo (born July 15, 1949) is an American novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, and teacher.

Early life and education

Russo was born in Johnstown, New York, and raised in nearby Gloversville. He earned a bachelor's degree, a Master of Fine Arts degree, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Arizona, which he attended from 1967 through 1979.


Russo was teaching in the English department at Southern Illinois University Carbondale when his first novel, Mohawk, was published, in 1986. Much of his work is semi-autobiographical, drawing on his life from his upbringing in upstate New York to his time teaching literature at Colby College (subsequently retired). He lives in Camden, Maine.

His 2001 novel Empire Falls received the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He has written seven other novels, a collection of short stories, and a memoir (Elsewhere).

Russo co-wrote the 1998 film Twilight with the director Robert Benton. Benton adapted Russo's Nobody's Fool as a 1994 film of the same title, starring Paul Newman, which he also directed. Russo wrote the teleplay for the HBO adaptation of Empire Falls, the screenplay for the 2005 film Ice Harvest, and the screenplay for the 2005 Niall Johnson film Keeping Mum, which starred Rowan Atkinson.

Personal life

Russo and his wife, Barbara, live in Portland, Maine, and spend winters in Boston. They have two daughters, Kate and Emily.


  • Mohawk (Vintage Books, 1986)
  • The Risk Pool (Random House, 1988)
  • Nobody's Fool (Random House, 1993)
  • Straight Man (Random House, 1997)
  • Empire Falls (Alfred A. Knopf, 2001)
  • The Whore's Child and Other Stories (Alfred A. Knopf, 2002)
  • Bridge of Sighs (Alfred A. Knopf, 2007)
  • That Old Cape Magic (Alfred A. Knopf, 2009)
  • Interventions, with illustrator Kate Russo (Down East Books, 2012)
  • Elsewhere: A Memoir (Alfred A. Knopf, 2012)
  • Everybody's Fool (Alfred A. Knopf, May 3, 2016)
  • Trajectory: Stories (Alfred A. Knopf, 2017)
  • The Destiny Thief: Essays on Writing, Writers and Life (Alfred A. Knopf, 2018)


  • Monsters (1989) (TV)
  • Nobody's Fool (1994) (based on his novel)
  • Twilight (with Robert Benton) (1998)
  • The Flamingo Rising (2001) (TV)
  • Brush with Fate (2003) (TV)
  • Empire Falls (2005) (TV)
  • The Ice Harvest (with Robert Benton) (2005)
  • Keeping Mum (with Niall Johnson) (2005)


External links

  • Audio recording of Russo reading a chapter of That Old Cape Magic from the Maine Humanities Council and the Portland Public Library
  • Richard Russo on IMDb

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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