The Russell Hoban website

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

The Slickman A4 Quotation Event (named after the fan who came up with the idea) has taken place every 4th February since 2002, in commemoration of Russell Hoban's birth in 1925. Each year on the day, readers from around the world share their favourite quotations from his books by leaving them in public places, invariably written on yellow A4 paper (the sort he used). Fans also share their selections on social media under the hashtag #sa4qe and post their quotes and photos on this site. See this year's reports.
Photo above quoting Riddley Walker from @earthworksjason

Latest news & features

Selected Russell Hoban quotation

'Modern life,' said Jachin-Boaz [to the owner of the bookshop], 'particularly modern life in cities, creates great tensions in people, don't you think?'

'Modern life, ancient life,' said the owner. 'Where there's life there's tension.'

'Yes,' said Jachin-Boaz. 'Tension and nerves.  It's astonishing, really, what nerves can do."

'Well, they have a system, you see,' said the owner.  'When you suffer an attack of nerves you're being attacked by the nervous system.  What chance has a man got against a system?'

'Exactly,' said Jachin-Boaz.  'He could have delusions, hallucinations.'

'Happens every day of the week,' said the owner.  'Sometimes I, for example, have the delusion that this shop is a business.  Then I come back to reality and realize that it's just an expensive hobby.'

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Russell Hoban links...

Gaming/digital journalist Jonathan H. Liu considers Russell Hoban's 1968 classic The Mouse and His Child as great a children's "toy story" as anything Pixar could tell.
Direct link to mp3 file hosted by the Guardian (975k)
A transcription of a talk by Russell Hoban given to the 1970 Exeter conference on children's literature, published in the journal "Children's Literature in Education" (March 1971, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 5-23). The first two pages are available free via the link; payment or an...
Soonchild tells the story of a shaman known as Sixteen-Face John, who lives in a cold, snowy region referred to as "The North," and who fears he's losing his way in the modern world. He increasingly spends his time "drinking Coca-Cola and watching TV with his feet up and reading magazines with...
Short review by Philip S Turner of the Russell Hoban tribute event at McNally Jackson Books, New York, on 8th July 2013.
In this 1987 audio interview with Don Swaim, Russell Hoban discusses The Medusa Frequency, which is an "Orphus Uridisy" retelling. He reflects on growing up in Pennsylvania, and his continuous love for reading and art. He also talks about illustrating for Time, Life and Sports Illustrated...
Over the years, for his contribution to the annual SA4QE event, longtime fan Olaf Schneider has created multimedia Flash animations inspired by quotations from Russell Hoban's books. Impressionistic, atmospheric and surreal, the (so far) 27 animations range from a moving Belhousov-Zhabotinsky...
Russell Hoban talks about his famously cluttered writing room, aka his "exobrain".
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...
Short, undated video (2010s?) in which Sir Quentin Blake talks about his first collaboration with Russell Hoban on "How Tom Beat Captain Najork and his Hired Sportsmen" and its sequel, "A Near Thing for Captain Najork".

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