The Russell Hoban website

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

Revisiting a classic interview

On 15th February 2011 Russell Hoban was interviewed by author and broadcaster Will Self. Self had written the foreword to a recent edition of Riddley Walker, and has written elsewhere of his admiration for Hoban and his work. In February 2022 the full audio of the conversation was published on the British Library Player website. A first-hand account on the SA4QE archive site also describes the evening and has a partial transcript. (Photo: Richard Cooper)


Russell Hoban links...

Items randomly chosen from our database

Summary: 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...
Summary: He climbs a ladder to reach another man's wife and gives himself up to her beauty, but then Pilgermann descends into a mob of peasants inspired by the Pope to shed the blood of Jews. Alone on the cobblestones, mutilated and unmanned, he cries out to Israel, to the Lord his God, to Abraham...
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...
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...
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...
No one realizes that the poor marzipan pig has fallen behind the sofa. No one hears his lonely cries for help. His sweetness grows bitter over the months that go by until a mouse discovers him and gobbles him up. But the mouse pays a price for her greed. A desperate feeling of loneliness and...
When Father comes home at the end of a sorely trying day, he finds all the family fighting and scolding after a sequence of events for which no one is willing to take the blame.   (The New York Review Children's Collection edition)  
Along with four Hoban novels, The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz, Turtle Diary, Pilgermann and Mr Rinyo-Clacton's Offer, the Omnibus contains Return of Manny Rat, the incomplete, fragmentary sequel to The Mouse and His Child, which Hoban began but abandoned and which had never before been...
In Dock 14 (there's no 13); Clever Daughter, a deep-space Corporation tanker, a huge battered thing like a discarded oil refinery all pocked and pitted from the dust and flying debris of seven galaxies, dull metal shining in the rain. Nothing sleek, nothing aerodynamic - it doesn't need to be...
On a black and stormy night the sea-thing child is flung up on the beach, a little draggled heap of scales and feathers. Although made for deep diving and high flying, he is afraid of the ocean. When he meets a fiddler crab with no bow, these two help each other avoid their fears for a while. But...

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