The official Russell Hoban website

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Russell Hoban interviewed at the 2010 Serpentine Map Marathon

Map Marathon 2010 - Russell Hoban in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist

In 2010 Russell Hoban took part in the Serpentine Gallery's Map Marathon event. Taking place over a weekend, the busy event was a kind of cultural festival of all things to do with maps and map-making. Russell was interviewed by event curator Hans Ulrich Obrist mostly about Riddley Walker, which features in its frontispiece a Hoban-drawn map of the post-apocalyptic Kent of "Inland" and whose plot sees the eponymous hero constantly "roading" around the landscape. 

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Selected Russell Hoban quotation

The lamps on Putney Bridge were still lit, the bridge stood in simple astonishment over the water, a stoneline creature of overness, of parapets and ghostly pale cool tones of blue, of grey, of dim whiteness in the foredawn with its lamps lit against a sky growing light. Far below lay the river; slack-water it was, turn of the tide, the low-tide river narrow between expanses of mud, the moored boats rocking in the stillness... There seemed to be a question in the air.

‘Yes,’ I said, ‘I will.’


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From the jacket: There is a strangeness about Christabel Alderton. Elias Newman can see it right away, as well he might. When Christabel was thirteen she was walking by the River Lea and some people in a cabin cruiser waved to her. The scene before her seemed to freeze like a photograph and she...
In Riddley Walker, thousands of years in our future, the people of Inland are trying to drag themselves out of the mud. Theirs is a post-nuclear society hungry for a story to make sense of what’s happened. They have no creation myth, only hellish narratives of destruction played out in the Eusa...
Long, evocative article by Russell Hoban for Sports Illustrated dated January 19, 1959, about the joys of boating. "A man in a boat regains his sense of scale, knows how big the sea is, and he remembers who and what he is. In a boat, we become whole again, and the flying fragments of our lives...
It is perfectly possible to read and  enjoy Russell Hoban’s masterpiece Riddley Walker without solving or even being aware of the riddles woven into the story. You struggle with the language for a time until its phonetic nature becomes clear, and you congratulate yourself for having...
An account by SA4QE's Richard Cooper of a reading by Russell Hoban in London on 24 January 2001 to promote Amaryllis Night and Day, and Richard's first visit to Russell Hoban's house a few days later to deliver Russell's birthday gift from his fan club The Kraken.
In 2013, writer and journalist Paul Cooper was given the enviable task of cataloguing Russell Hoban's manuscripts. In this fascinating article written especially for, he recalls some of his discoveries.
Short piece on the noises and "creatures" of the London Underground published in the New York Times 23 November 1981. This was later published as "Footplacers, London Transport Owls, Wincer-Boise" collected (and dated 1982) in "The Moment under The Moment" (pub. 1992...
Harry Phillips writes briefly for the March 18, 1957 issue of Sports Illustrated on Russell Hoban's Floyd Patterson article and illustrations for the same issue; that article can be found at This is also referred to in...
An account of visiting Waterford, Ireland for Red Kettle's November 2007 theatrical production of Riddley Walker.