Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Russell Hoban and other news

Tim Martin interviews Russell Hoban for the Independent. Martin sums up Hoban's career in this beautiful paragraph:
  • "But Russell Hoban is the most intimate of geniuses. Best known, perhaps, for his stark, apocalyptic fable Riddley Walker, a tale of post-nuclear Britain written in a rusted and eroded English, he is also the author of 13 other novels that use the quotidian as a springboard for ever more extravagant leaps into the unknown. His unique, oblique, animistic viewpoint on love and the world has won him critical panegyrics and legions of devoted fans, but he remains a word-of-mouth writer. It is a source of mostly pleasant irony for him that his bestselling work has been a series of children's books about a demanding little badger called Frances."

Irony for Hoban, but a source of enduring pleasure for fans of children's literature. (My favorite is Best Friends for Frances, how about you?)

In any case, read Martin's article for news of Hoban's fan club, the Kraken, and the way they honor their favorite writer on his birthday (this year, Hoban is 81).


Dina Rabinovitch talks to Kate Thompson, winner of the Whitbread award for children's fiction, for the Guardian. (Thompson's novel, The New Policeman, has not yet been published in the U.S.)