Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Richard Russo

A little bit lost in the shuffle of our busy week last week was the fact that, last Thursday, Steve and I went to see Richard Russo do a reading from his latest novel as part of the Aspen Writer's Foundation Winter Words Series.

Steve is a big Richard Russo fan and has read all of his books. Russo connects with him due to their shared backgrounds of having grown up in economically depressed Western New York.

I haven't read any Richard Russo and am really only aware of him because of Steve's affinity for him.

My lack of exposure to anything Russo made for an eye opening evening. I was struck by the amount of humor in the passages Russo chose to read from The Bridge of Sighs. In addition, being married to the "guy who left," I also noted that in The Bridge of Sighs, the guy who stayed seems to be more contented with his life than the guy who left.

Steve, who hasn't quite finished The Bridge of Sighs but who has read the passages which comprised Russo's reading, noted that the parts which made us laugh out loud Thursday evening didn't have quite the same punch when he had read them earlier.

I guess it's all in the delivery.

In addition, the disparity between Steve's positive experience as the guy who left and Russo's portrayal of Lucy's positive experience as the guy who stayed hadn't even registered with Steve. Probably due to Steve's fundamental knowledge that, for him, leaving was essential.

Although we had to dash out of the Russo event in order to make it to opening curtain at Guys and Dolls and thus could not dally to actually meet the author, seeing Russo and hearing his reading had the intended effect of introducing me to yet another writer I will likely enjoy.

1 comment:

Susan said...

I'd never heard of Russo. It's interesting how the author's reading differed from Steve's own. Readers do bring a lot to any book.

What genre is this?