Russell Hoban fan quotation event set for 12th birthday

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

The Slickman A4 Quotation Event, or SA4QE for short, started in 2002 when Hoban fans were discussing ways of recognising his work in a way that would be public, unique and fun.

Chicago-based actor-writer Diana Slickman proposed that readers celebrated Hoban's birthday on 4th February by "writing our favorite passage, of any length, from any Russell Hoban book, on a piece of yellow paper and dropping it somewhere public and then walking away, leaving chance to do the rest."

Yellow paper is a motif in several Hoban novels. 4th February 2014 would have been Hoban's 89th birthday.

Since its inception SA4QE has seen over 400 quotations publicly shared across the world by more than 100 individuals, many of whom take part every year.

Quotations have been left in bookshops, on park benches, on buses and tube trains, in phone booths, and affixed to walls and bus-shelters. Some are even guarded by lions, such as the one above, from South African Lara Hoffenberg in 2003. The quotation she left was from Hoban's debut novel The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz (1973):

Darkness roared with the lion, the night stalked with the silence of him. The lion was. Ignorant of non-existence he existed. Ignorant of self he was a sunlit violence with calm joy at the centre of it, he was the violence of being-as-hunter constantly renewed in the devouring of non-being.

In recent years participants have also shared their favourite quotations on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.

For many years SA4QE postings were documented on, which is now a huge archive of Hoban quotations, many accompanied by photos.

Fans now use the site to post their reports and images.

All posts will appear at as they come in on 4th February.

Logged-in users can submit their report here.