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early drafts of Riddley Walker in standard English, letters from Harold Pinter, an invitation to the White House and unpublished children's story Jim Hedgehog's Midnight Saxophone.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

Consider this, said the darkness: any motion at any speed is a succession of stillnesses; any section through an action will show just such a plane of stillness as this dark window in which your seeking face is mirrored. And in each plane of stillness is the moment of clarity that makes you responsible for what you do.

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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Obituary by John Clute for The Guardian.
Edition
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Fascinating and comprehensive resource site annotating Russell Hoban's classic 1980 novel Riddley Walker, providing notes on the novel's many themes, motifs and characters. An essential guide to the novel whether you're reading it for pleasure or study.
Russell Hoban title

In the aquarium at the London Zoo, three sea turtles swim endlessly in 'their little bedsitter of ocean'. Two lonely people, William G and Neaera H, become obsessed with the turtles' captivity, and resolve to rescue them and release them in to the sea. William's and Neaera's diaries tell the story of how they achieve the turtles' freedom, and in the process re-define their own lives.

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Russell Hoban pays homage to Gislebertus, the 12th-century stone-carver whose work at Autun Cathedral in France inspired a section of The Bat Tattoo.
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Short review by Philip S Turner of the Russell Hoban tribute event at McNally Jackson Books, New York, on 8th July 2013.
Russell Hoban title

Sarah Varley sells art objects and bric-a-brac from a market stall. Roswell Clark is a toy-inventor turned sculptor who specializes in grimly ironic pieces involving crash test dummies. Both are widowed and a little bit lost in their own private worlds. Their paths cross one day while admiring a bat on a Chinese bowl at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

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Short interview to promote Come Dance With Me. Quote: "It has been my aim to be as strange as I can be, and I've never been as strange as I'd like to be."
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Russell Hoban fan spends a day visiting over 30 London locations mentioned in Russell Hoban's books, leaving associated quotations from the books in situ.
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Review from Frieze magazine of the 2005 fan convention held in London.
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To celebrate its 21st anniversary in 1992, the British publisher Picador invited 21 of its best authors to write about one of the years from 1972 to 1992, from their own perspective.
Essay

Author Anna Lawrence Pietroni explores "Riddleyspeak", which is at once familiar and strange: we have to slow our reading right down if we are to give ourselves any chance of understanding it in full. Riddley is ‘walking his riddels’ on paper and we have to read at a similarly steady pace, stopping from time to time to pick up a stone on the road or taking a moment to catch our breath.