The official Russell Hoban website

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

The Russell Hoban archives

The late novelist Russell Hoban's life's work has been formally archived two years after his death, and is now being offered for acquisition. Writer and journalist Paul Cooper was recruited to catalogue the manuscripts and letters, which run to over 800 items in 21 boxes, and include classic works such as Riddley Walker and The Mouse and His Child. Working at Hoban's London home of 40 years, Cooper uncovered some fascinating items including early drafts of Riddley Walker in standard English, letters from Harold Pinter, an invitation to the White House and unpublished children's story Jim Hedgehog's Midnight Saxophone. Read Paul's fascinating article on the project

 

Selected Russell Hoban quotation

Manny Rat's housewarming was a great success. He had invited the cream of rat society, and all of them attended, twittering and squeaking with high spirits as they climbed the string ladder to the dolls' house. Grizzled old fighters and their plump, respectable wives touched whiskers with gentleman rats grown sleek by cunning and lithe young beauties of vaguely theatrical connection. Debutante rats and dashing young rats-about-town, all the golden youth of the dump, arrived in little laughing groups that achieved the effect of brilliance even in the dark, while doddering dowager rats came escorted by gaunt artistic rats with matted fur, burning eyes, and enormous appetites. Last up the ladder were a scattering of selected social climbers, followed by various hired bravos, obscure ruffians, and cheap hustlers whose good will was worth cultivating.

Latest news

Walker Picture Books have issued new editions of two children's books by Russell Hoban, illustrated by Sir Quentin Blake.

Yellow paper with lion, Cape Town 2003, by Lara Hoffenberg

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

Some of the Russell Hoban archives

Russell Hoban's archivist Paul Cooper has written exclusively for russellhoban.org about his work cataloguing over 800 manuscripts and letters.

Sample site content

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Stuart Kelly enthuses about The Mouse and His Child in the Guardian: "it is a profound little book – the equal, in some ways, to the Alice books."
Essay

Author Anna Lawrence Pietroni explores "Riddleyspeak", which is at once familiar and strange: we have to slow our reading right down if we are to give ourselves any chance of understanding it in full. Riddley is ‘walking his riddels’ on paper and we have to read at a similarly steady pace, stopping from time to time to pick up a stone on the road or taking a moment to catch our breath.

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Frances Broomfield talks about her jacket artwork for Russell Hoban's 1987 novel The Medusa Frequency, as well as her influences and other work.
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Account of the evening at the Guardian event in London, from the SA4QE website. Mostly about Riddley Walker.
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Short interview to promote Come Dance With Me. Quote: "It has been my aim to be as strange as I can be, and I've never been as strange as I'd like to be."
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Essay by Graeme Wend-Walker. Restricted access.
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Reproduced from an edition of Riddley Walker