The Russell Hoban website

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

In 2013 novelist Paul MM Cooper landed the task of sorting through and archiving the manuscripts left by Russell Hoban after his death in 2011. Here he gives his account of the process. "I have never been inside a room that so achingly missed its owner," he writes. The manuscripts were later bought by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Connecticut. Cooper's new novel All Our Broken Idols is out now. (Photo: Paul MM Cooper)


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Items randomly chosen from our database

From the jacket: The first time Peter Diggs saw Amaryllis she was at a bus stop where the street sign said BALSAMIC although there was nothing vinegary about the place. The bus was unthinkably tall, made of yellow, orange and pink rice paper and bamboo, lit from within like a Japanese lantern. That...
On a black and stormy night the sea-thing child is flung up on the beach, a little draggled heap of scales and feathers. Although made for deep diving and high flying, he is afraid of the ocean. When he meets a fiddler crab with no bow, these two help each other avoid their fears for a while. But...
Along with four Hoban novels, The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz, Turtle Diary, Pilgermann and Mr Rinyo-Clacton's Offer, the Omnibus contains Return of Manny Rat, the incomplete, fragmentary sequel to The Mouse and His Child, which Hoban began but abandoned and which had never before been...
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...
The Moment under The Moment is a 1992 collection of short stories, essays and fragments, most of which had been previously published in periodicals and elsewhere. Contents, with comments on selected items: Short stories The Man with the Dagger My Night with Léonie Schwartz The Raven The Colour of...
riddley-indiana.jpg According to reviewers of literature, Hoban’s masterpiece is Riddley Walker.  I agree, but for reasons not noted in any review.  In both conception and presentation, Riddley Walker is a novel unlike any other.  It is a wonder and...
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...
Russell Hoban's final short story was written specially for the Exhibition Road Show, a festival held in London in July-August 2012. The story appears in Road Stories, a collection by various writers inspired by London's Exhibition Road, home to many of the city's great museums including the...
The Mouse and His Child is the story of two clockwork mice, a father and son. When the key in the father's back is wound, he dances in a circle, swinging his son up and down. They begin their existence in the warmth of a toy shop at Christmastime, surrounded by fellow windup toys; all the mouse...
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...

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Selected Russell Hoban quotation

Jump! Into the empty air,

Drop to the rocks down there.

Maybe some of us will make it.

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