Literary Birthday – 15 July – Richard Russo

Happy Birthday, Richard Russo, born 15 July 1949.


  1. Ultimately, your theme will find you. You don’t have to go looking for it.
  2. You use simple brushstrokes in a screenplay for things over which you would take much greater pains in a novel.
  3. Have you ever noticed that when people use the expression ‘I have to say’, what follows usually needn’t be said?
  4. People sometimes get in the habit of being loyal to a mistake.
  5. You just kind of have faith. If that sounds kind of mystical, it’s because I really don’t know how it works, but I trust that it does. I try to write the way I read, in order to find out what happens next.
  6. Bookstores, like libraries, are the physical manifestation of the wide world’s longest, most thrilling conversation.
  7. There are a great many sins in this world, none of them original.
  8. At the risk of appearing disingenuous, I don’t really think of myself as ‘writing humour‘. I’m simply reporting on the world I observe, which is frequently hilarious.
  9. I read pretty voraciously. If it’s good, I don’t care what it is.
  10. Whatever you’re working on, take small bites. The task will not be overwhelming if you can reduce it to its smallest component.

Richard Russo is an American novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, and teacher. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for Empire Falls. He has written seven other novels, a collection of short stories, and a memoir.

Source for an image of the author: Camille Gévaudan (K’m), CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 14th July 2017