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Russell Banks

 

Russell Banks was raised in New Hampshire and eastern Massachusetts. The eldest of four children, he grew up in a working-class, hardscrabble world that has played a major role in shaping his writing. Banks (the first in his family to go to college) attended Colgate University "for less than a semester," and later graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before he could support himself as a writer, he tried his hand at plumbing, and worked as a shoe salesman and window dresser. More recently, he has taught at Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence, University of New Hampshire, New England College and New York University.

A prolific writer of fiction, his titles include: Searching for Survivors, Family Life, Hamilton Stark, The New World, The Book of Jamaica, Trailerpark, The Relation of My Imprisonment, Continental Drift, Success Stories, Affliction and The Sweet Hereafter. Banks has also contributed poems, stories and essays to The Boston Globe Magazine, Vanity Fair, The New York Times Book Review, Esquire, Harper's and many other publications.

 


  Cloudsplitter The cover of Russell Banks's mountain-sized novel Cloudsplitter features an actual photo of Owen Brown, the son of John Brown--the hero of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" whose terrorist band murdered proponents of slavery in Kansas and attacked Harpers Ferry, Virginia, in 1859 on what... Read more

  The Sweet Hereafter : A Novel Atom Egoyan's Oscar-nominated The Sweet Hereafter is a good movie, remarkably faithful to the spirit of Russell Banks's novel of the same name, but Banks's book is twice as good. With the cool logic of accreting snowflakes, his prose builds a world--a small U.S. town near Canada--and peoples it with... Read more

  The Angel on the Roof : The Stories of Russell Banks Russell Banks (The Sweet Hereafter, Affliction) started out as a poet, and nowhere is this more evident than in his 37 years' worth of exquisite short stories, collected here in one hefty volume for the first time. In a mournfully lyrical phrase, he can evoke his characteristic landscape, the icy... Read more

  Rule of the Bone : A Novel In a voice totally authentic to its speaker, Banks narrates in first-person the sad story of a teenage boy whose aimlessness leads him to steal from his mother in order to buy pot; as a result, he is kicked out of the house. As a drifter, he's too young and inexperienced to take advantage of other... Read more

  Continental Drift Early in Continental Drift, Russell Banks compares the migrations of humanity to those of the elements: tides, winds, whole landmasses making their well-mapped, decorous circuit of the planet. One of the marvels of this book is the way it combines such an aerial perspective with particular,... Read more

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