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Richard Russo to take part in Pen Pals discussion series


Empire Falls by Richard Russo cover imageFans of Richard Russo take note: the Pulitzer Prize-winning author is scheduled to lecture on May 14th and 15th as part of the Hennepin County Library Foundation's Pen Pals discussion series. Russo is the author of five novels, including The Risk Pool and Straight Man. He has also published a collection of short stories, The Whore's Child and Other Stories, and adapted several works into screenplays.

In 2002, Russo was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Empire Falls, a novel about the inhabitants of a small town in Maine struggling to make it through a period of industrial downturn. In 2005, it was made into a two-part HBO series of the same name, starring Paul Newman, Ed Harris, Helen Hunt and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo cover imageRusso's most recent work is Bridge of Sighs, a 2007 novel about 60 year-old Louis "Lucy" Lynch and his wife Sarah, who own three convenience stores in a small town in upstate New York. The book centers on the overlapping history of the town and its inhabitants, straying as far as Venice, Italy, to fill in the memories and solve the mysteries of the past.

Russo taught at the University of Illinois-Carbondale, and Colby College before retiring. He continues to write at his home in Camden, Maine, and is rumored to be working on a novel that incorporates characters from his previous books.

The lectures will take place at the Hopkins Center for the Arts, and tickets are still available for both appearances. Tickets are $15 for students with a valid ID, and $35-$45 for adults.