The Russell Hoban website

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

Russell Hoban would have been 99 this year. Since 2002, fans around the world have celebrated his birthday on 4th February by sharing their favourite quotations from his books in public places and online. Find out more. Photo: a famous line from Riddley Walker, posted in White Rock BC, 2019 by Ra McGuire.


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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...
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...
Adapted from Wikipedia: The story tells of Emmet Otter and his Ma, a widow. They scrape by on the small amount of money she gets from doing laundry and Emmet earns from doing odd jobs around their home town of Frogtown Hollow. Both are often cheated, notably by Old Lady Possum and Gretchen Fox (the...
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...
Russell Hoban's final short story was written specially for the Exhibition Road Show, a festival held in London in July-August 2012. The story appears in Road Stories, a collection by various writers inspired by London's Exhibition Road, home to many of the city's great museums including the...
From the jacket:   Phil Ockerman falls hard for Bertha Strunk at a tango lesson in a church crypt in Clerkenwell. ‘Is Bertha's trunk anything like Pandora's box?' he wonders. Each recently separated, both their Suns are squared by Neptune. Bertha also bears a strong resemblance to the 17th...
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...
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...
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,...
In Ariosto's epic 16th-century poem Orlando Furioso, the beautiful Angelica , chained, naked, to a rock and menaced by a sea monster is rescued by the valiant Ruggiero, riding a ‘hippogriff', the offspring of a griffin and a mare - an entirely imaginary winged creature (as readers of Harry Potter...

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