“The Destiny Thief”
A master of the novel, short story, and memoir, the best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author discusses his latest work.
Richard Russo is the author of eight novels, most recently “Everybody’s Fool” and “That Old Cape Magic”; two collections of stories, with “Trajectory” published in 2017; and “Elsewhere,” a memoir. His newest book, “The Destiny Thief,” is a collection of essays on writing, writers, and life. In 2002 he received the Pulitzer Prize for “Empire Falls,” which like “Nobody’s Fool” was adapted to film, in a multiple-award-winning HBO miniseries; in 2016 he was given the Indie Champion Award by the American Booksellers Association; and in 2017 he received France’s Grand Prix de Littérature Américaine. He lives in Portland, Maine.
In “The Destiny Thief” Richard Russo provides insight into his life as a writer, teacher, friend, and reader. From a commencement speech he gave at Colby College, to the story of how an oddly-placed toilet made him reevaluate the purpose of humor in art and life, to a comprehensive analysis of Mark Twain’s value, to his harrowing journey accompanying a dear friend as she pursued gender-reassignment surgery, “The Destiny Thief” reflects the broad interests and experiences of one of America’s most beloved authors. Warm, funny, wise, and poignant, the essays included here traverse Russo’s writing life, expanding our understanding of who he is and how his singular, incredibly generous mind works. An utter joy to read, they give deep insight into the creative process from the perspective of one of our greatest writers.
The Esther B. O’Keeffe Speaker Series features notable speakers from the fields of politics, culture and the media. Lectures take place January through March on Tuesdays at 3 p.m. Book signings, when offered, are held in the O’Keeffe Gallery Building following the lecture, and are available to the public at no charge.