The Russell Hoban website

Welcome to russellhoban.org, providing definitive information and news about the late novelist Russell Hoban and his work.

The Slickman A4 Quotation Event (named after the fan who came up with the idea) has taken place every 4th February since 2002, in commemoration of Russell Hoban's birth in 1925. Each year on the day, readers from around the world share their favourite quotations from his books by leaving them in public places, invariably written on yellow A4 paper (the sort he used). Fans also share their selections on social media under the hashtag #sa4qe, while some are posted on this site. Above: Riddley Walker quoted in White Rock, BC, Canada by Ra McGuire


Russell Hoban links...

Items randomly chosen from our database

Harry hears the rag-and-bone man calling "Rainy numbers up! Any thunder up?" and goes through the rain door to a fantastical world where the weather is made to find an old iron tank used by the rag-and-bone man as a cloud catcher. To scare off the lion that is frightening the man's horse, Lightning...
The Mouse and His Child is the story of two clockwork mice, a father and son. When the key in the father's back is wound, he dances in a circle, swinging his son up and down. They begin their existence in the warmth of a toy shop at Christmastime, surrounded by fellow windup toys; all the mouse...
  Click on thumbnails in this article to pop-up larger images. According to excerpts from the artist’s 1962 diary, Russell Hoban’s portrait of the folk singer and 1960s icon Joan Baez took 16 days from commission date to completion and delivery, and he spent around 10 of those days working on...
All quotations come from Russell Hoban, Riddley Walker: Expanded Edition, Indiana University Press, 1998 Although he sets his novel Riddley Walker (published in 1980) in a post-apocalyptic future, Russell Hoban makes use of the medieval world to mark this future as a site of the "primitive." For...
The only thing Frances will eat is bread and jam. "How do you know what you'll like if you won't even try anything?" asks Father. But Frances is not tempted by eggs or string beans until clever Mother finds the answer... The third and probably the best known title in Russell Hoban's Frances the...
mouse cover.jpg Someone that labels himself a metaphysical writer and talks about 'the thingness of things' and a primal consciousness that 'looks out of the eye sockets' one might think would not be involved with writing for children. Yet Russell Hoban must be one...
Summary: Hoban's second novel for adults, Kleinzeit is a story detailing the eponymous title character's brush with illness and creativity. When Kleinzeit is fired from his job as an advertising copywriter, he ends up in hospital with a "skewed hypotenuse", being tended by the healthy and...
It is perfectly possible to read and  enjoy Russell Hoban’s masterpiece Riddley Walker without solving or even being aware of the riddles woven into the story. You struggle with the language for a time until its phonetic nature becomes clear, and you congratulate yourself for having...
‘This is it ... this is my destiny woman,' Max blurted out when he first met Lola at the Coliseum shop. Not only was she aristocratic and wild at heart, but the two discovered an uncanny convergence of musical tastes. Soon they were converging at every level - Lola filling Max's emptiness and vice...
Tom is so good at fooling around that he does little else. His Aunt Fidget Wonkham-Strong, who thinks this is too much like having fun, calls upon the fearsome Captain Najork and his hired sportsmen to teach him a lesson. So the Captain challenges Tom to three rounds womble, muck, and sneedball,...

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Selected Russell Hoban quotation

“‘Nameless here for evermore’ she said. ‘Names are pretty useless really. If you say the name of anything ten or twenty times it scatters and falls away and the thing that’s named stands there all naked and unknowable’. 

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