A standing room only audience at Wellesley Free Library Tuesday night listened to a couple of readings from author Richard Russo, who won the 2002 Pultizer Prize for Fiction for his Empire Falls.
After readings from That Old Cape Magic and a memoir written for a British literary journal, Russo fielded questions about topics such as his growing up near Gloversville, N.Y. (he conveyed a gruesome story of a relative’s nasty job at a beam house) and writing about academia (he used to teach, including at Colby College). He said it became easier to write about academia after he had left, and found that his former colleagues recognized their colleagues in his works, but never themselves. He described writing about academia to be a cathartic “bridge burning process.” As for trying his hand at non-fiction recently he acknowledged that it proved challenging to a fiction writer, or “bullsh—— by trade.”
(Not sure if it’s just me, but the library auditorium seems to be SRO every time I go there…)
D E Noonan says
I was one of the ones who got there 1/2 hour early so I could get a seat.
Russo was both articulate and interesting. He remarked how shocked he was to get the Pulitzer for “Empire Falls”, which had not been recognized by any of the other major book awards. He noted that the Pulitzer was rarely awarded to a “comic novel”. He handled questions like a pro(-fessor).