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. 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early drafts of Riddley Walker in standard English, letters from Harold Pinter, an invitation to the White House and unpublished children's story Jim Hedgehog's Midnight Saxophone.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

"Jachin-Boaz traded in maps. He bought and sold maps, and some, of certain kinds for special uses, he made or had others make for him. That had been his father's trade, and the walls of his shop that had been his father's were hung with glazed blue oceans, green swamps and grasslands, brown and orange mountains delicately shaded. Maps of towns and plains he sold, and other maps made to order. He would sell a young man a map that showed where a particular girl might be found at different hours of the day. He sold husband maps and wife maps. He sold maps to poets that showed where thoughts of power and clarity had come to other poets. He sold well-digging maps. He sold vision-and-miracle maps to holy men, sickness-and-accident maps to physicians, money-and-jewel maps to thieves, and thief maps to the police."

Latest news

Walker Books have announced the release of two more classic collaborations for publication in 2014 and 2015.

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".

Sample site content

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Chitra Ramaswamy's wonderful 2010 encounter with Russell Hoban takes in his new novel Angelica Lost and Found, recollections of Riddley Walker and how meeting his wife Gundela helped him to start writing again.
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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.

Russell Hoban title

The only thing Frances will eat is bread and jam. "How do you know what you'll like if you won't even try anything?" asks Father. But Frances is not tempted by eggs or string beans until clever Mother finds the answer...

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Short article dated November 12, 1956 for Sports Illustrated accompanying some illustrations Russell Hoban did for the same issue (unfortunately not included) of Toronto Maple Leafs hockey players. (Link fixed 28/6/14)
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Excellent obituary by Tim Martin recalling Russell Hoban's novels and the dedication of his fans.
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Facebook page for the SA4QE activity.
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Full-colour scans of Russell Hoban's illustrations for the 1963 Macmillan edition of Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe.