The Book Show #1306 and #1307 - Richard Russo
After eight commanding works of fiction, Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo now turns to memoir in a hilarious, moving, and always surprising account of his life, his parents, and the upstate New York town they all struggled variously to escape.
Anyone familiar with Richard Russo's acclaimed novels will recognize Gloversville - once famous for producing gloves and anything else made of leather. This is where the author grew up, the only son of an aspirant mother and a charming, feckless father who were born into this close-knit community. But by the time of his childhood in the 1950s, prosperity was replaced by poverty and illness (often tannery-related), with everyone barely scraping by.
In this extended conversation with Richard Russo, he speaks at length about his childhood, his complicated relationship with his mother, and other topics that he's written about in Elsewhere: A memoir.
Previously aired as The Book Show #1281 and #1282.