The official Russell Hoban website

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

The Russell Hoban archives

The late novelist Russell Hoban's life's work has been formally archived two years after his death. Writer and journalist Paul Cooper was recruited to catalogue the manuscripts and letters, which run to over 800 items in 21 boxes, and include classic works such as Riddley Walker and The Mouse and His Child. Working at Hoban's London home of 40 years, Cooper uncovered some fascinating items including early drafts of Riddley Walker in standard English, letters from Harold Pinter, an invitation to the White House and unpublished children's story Jim Hedgehog's Midnight Saxophone. Read Paul's fascinating article on the project

 

Selected Russell Hoban quotation

'Modern life,' said Jachin-Boaz [to the owner of the bookshop], 'particularly modern life in cities, creates great tensions in people, don't you think?'

'Modern life, ancient life,' said the owner. 'Where there's life there's tension.'

'Yes,' said Jachin-Boaz. 'Tension and nerves.  It's astonishing, really, what nerves can do."

'Well, they have a system, you see,' said the owner.  'When you suffer an attack of nerves you're being attacked by the nervous system.  What chance has a man got against a system?'

'Exactly,' said Jachin-Boaz.  'He could have delusions, hallucinations.'

'Happens every day of the week,' said the owner.  'Sometimes I, for example, have the delusion that this shop is a business.  Then I come back to reality and realize that it's just an expensive hobby.'

Latest news

Walker Books have announced the release of two more classic collaborations for publication in 2014 and 2015.

Walker Picture Books have issued new editions of two children's books by Russell Hoban, illustrated by Sir Quentin Blake.

Yellow paper with lion, Cape Town 2003, by Lara Hoffenberg

Russell Hoban fans around the world are preparing to celebrate the late writer's words on 4th February with the traditional "SA4QE".

Sample site content

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Russell Hoban title

Emmet Otter and his Ma scrape by doing odd jobs. When a talent contest is announced they each decide to enter so they can afford to buy the other a Christmas present. This classic book from 1977 was adapted into a popular TV special by Jim Henson of The Muppets fame.

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Classic 2002 portrait

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Russell Hoban talks to the Guardian's James Hopkin about his move to London, his eccentric work-room and various novels including The Medusa Frequency.
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Chris Bell discusses Russell Hoban's 1983 novel Pilgermann, finding it "the closest I’ve experienced to a life-changing novel so far."
Russell Hoban title

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.

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Direct link to mp3 file hosted by the Guardian (975k)
Essay

The magic of the puppet show, says Professor K.A. Laity, is its ability to transform the inanimate into animation, to turn movement into story, and to bring to life all manner of dreams and stories.

Edition