Picture of author.

Russell Banks (1940–2023)

Autor(a) de Cloudsplitter

37+ Works 10,681 Membros 295 Críticas 38 Favorited

About the Author

The oldest of four children, Russell Banks spent his childhood and adolescence in New Hampshire and Eastern Massachusetts. His blue collar, working class background is strongly reflected in his writing. The first in his family to attend college, Banks studied at Colgate University and later mostrar mais graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill. While he was establishing himself as a writer, Banks spent time as a plumber, shoe salesman, and a window dresser. Banks's titles include Searching for Survivors, Family Life, Hamilton Stark, The New World, The Book of Jamaica, Trailerpark, The Relation of My Imprisonment, Continental Drift, Success Stories, Affliction, The Sweet Hereafter and Dreaming Up America. Banks has also written numerous poems, stories, and essays. Banks is the recipient of several awards and prizes. Among his accolades are the St. Lawrence Award for Short Fiction, the John Dos Passos Award, and the Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1986, Continental Drift was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos

Obras por Russell Banks

Cloudsplitter (1998) 1,640 exemplares
The Sweet Hereafter (1991) 1,635 exemplares
Rule of the Bone (1995) 1,397 exemplares
Continental Drift (1985) 967 exemplares
Affliction (1989) 878 exemplares
The Darling (2004) 791 exemplares
Lost Memory of Skin (2011) 779 exemplares
The Reserve (2007) 660 exemplares
Trailerpark (1981) 239 exemplares
A Permanent Member of the Family (2013) 191 exemplares
Foregone (2021) 133 exemplares
Book of Jamaica (1980) 120 exemplares
Success Stories (1986) 117 exemplares
The Magic Kingdom (2022) 108 exemplares

Associated Works

The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927) — Prefácio, algumas edições4,665 exemplares
The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction (1983) — Contribuidor — 1,115 exemplares
A Walk on the Wild Side (1956) — Prefácio, algumas edições622 exemplares
Unholy Ghost: Writers on Depression (2001) — Contribuidor — 484 exemplares
Birthday Stories (2002) — Contribuidor — 447 exemplares
Writers on Writing: Collected Essays from the New York Times (2001) — Contribuidor — 440 exemplares
Sudden Fiction: American Short-Short Stories (1984) — Contribuidor — 359 exemplares
The Art of the Tale: An International Anthology of Short Stories (1986) — Contribuidor — 333 exemplares
Montreal Stories (2003) — Introdução, algumas edições251 exemplares
The Best American Travel Writing 2001 (2001) — Contribuidor — 236 exemplares
Bad Trips (1991) — Contribuidor — 231 exemplares
Burn This Book: PEN Writers Speak Out on the Power of the Word (2009) — Contribuidor — 176 exemplares
The Best American Short Stories of the 80s (1990) — Contribuidor — 157 exemplares
The Best American Mystery Stories 2001 (2001) — Contribuidor — 141 exemplares
The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction (2008) — Contribuidor — 122 exemplares
Beneath the Roses (2005) — Contribuidor — 101 exemplares
Prize Stories 2000: The O. Henry Awards (2000) — Contribuidor — 95 exemplares
The Best American Mystery Stories 2014 (2014) — Contribuidor — 92 exemplares
It Occurs to Me That I Am America: New Stories and Art (2018) — Contribuidor — 70 exemplares
The Best American Short Stories 1985 (1985) — Contribuidor — 59 exemplares
The Sweet Hereafter [1997 film] (1998) — Original book — 39 exemplares
Antaeus No. 75/76, Autumn 1994 - The Final Issue (1994) — Contribuidor — 32 exemplares
New Stories from the South 2002: The Year's Best (2002) — Contribuidor — 31 exemplares
The Best American Short Stories 1971 (1971) — Contribuidor — 20 exemplares
New American Review #4 (1968) — Contribuidor — 15 exemplares
The Best American Short Stories 1975 (1975) — Contribuidor — 14 exemplares
The Hurly Burly and Other Stories (2021) — Prefácio, algumas edições; Editor, algumas edições7 exemplares
Speed: Stories of Survival from Behind the Wheel (2002) — Contribuidor — 6 exemplares
Race Traitor 10 (1999) — Contribuidor — 4 exemplares
Fire Exit, 4 — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
Christmas 1968: 14 poets — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
Hearse #15 (1971) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar


Conhecimento Comum



Thornton Wilder gave us Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire and Russell Banks gives us Sam Dent, New York. Both communities are small, rural, and isolated. Considering the three stories in Banks’ AMERICAN SPIRITS in the light of Wilder’s OUR TOWN, however, one can’t help but speculate on how the passage of time has warped our vision of America. On one hand, we have stories that focus on the comfortable quotidian, while on the other the stories force us to ponder the darkness that seems to pervade the scene today.

Sam Dent is a community founded on optimistic land speculation following the revolutionary war, but the Banks’ stories seem to suggest that the American experiment may be floundering and clearly facing existential threats.

Hostility leading to tragedy underlies each story. In “Nowhere Man” a man sells a piece of property to a survivalist who has plans to turn it into a training camp for right wing activists. It is not surprising that guns and toxic masculinity ensue with predictable tragic consequences. “Homeschooling” seems to be based on actual events recently reported in the news. A lesbian couple have adopted four at risk African American children. The women’s strangeness and stories told by their children raise the suspicions of the neighbors who intervene resulting in yet another tragedy. The back porch gossip in the Wilder play is now replaced by social media. The final novella (“Kidnapped”) is a dark story with a tangled plot involving drug deals, guns, revenge, kidnapping, and murder. This one is a little less believable than the other two, mainly because the characters seem to be untethered to reality. I think making some of the main characters descendants of the original founders of the village is revealing, however, as it suggests just how far off the rails we may have come.

Banks’ vision of America seems dark and pessimistic, yet his talent for storytelling clearly is on display in all three novellas. Despite their unrelenting darkness, these are suspenseful and compelling stories of 21st century America worthy of the late Russell Banks.
… (mais)
ozzer | Dec 2, 2023 |
The word that comes to mind is "plodding".
blueskygreentrees | 6 outras críticas | Aug 20, 2023 |
Banks claims the story is an account of audio tapes that Harley Mann recorded. However, the story is a fictional account in which Banks describes life on a parcel of land in Osceola County purchased by Shakers from the Disston Land Company in 1896. The New Bethany Shaker colony, the novel's primary setting, is near Narcoossee on the Cloud River. The magic kingdom of Banks' book is this Shaker colony in south Florida where the main character, Harley Mann, moved with his mother and brothers in 1902. Banks has done his homework and writes a believable tale of a young man coming of age among the Shakers.

In the beginning, Harley Mann believes that the Shaker elders will nurture his family and provide the love and structure they need to survive his father's death. It is gratifying to have food and a reasonable place to sleep after becoming nearly enslaved on a plantation in Georgia before being recruited by the Shakers. Harley is learning to be a beekeeper and completes many tasks in the self-sufficient community, leading him and the readers to believe he will eventually become a leader.

The predominant focus and message of The Magic Kingdom is the description of the precepts of the Shakers, the Society of Believers. The Shakers engage in communal living, and they share all property. Additionally, they remain celibate, do not procreate, and must adopt and recruit new members to survive. Harley lived the Shaker life in good faith until his natural urges led to wanting a relationship with a woman. Banks describes Harley's inner turmoil and many other emotions as the novel progresses. The plot includes unresolvable conflicts that lead to anger, regrets, betrayals, and hypocrisy.

Some parts of the book were slow-moving, but I was immersed in the story and gained new insights into the Shakers, Koresh followers, and Ruskinites, groups that settled and played a role in the development of our country. Of course, the rustic nature of Florida's land was essential to the story's setting.

… (mais)
LindaLoretz | 6 outras críticas | Aug 6, 2023 |
This is a haunting book about the aftermath of a school bus crash that took the lives of fourteen children and left others injured, some irrevocably. It takes place in a small town in upstate New York named Sam Dent. There is shock, profound grief, followed by a need to find the responsible party. Personal injury attorneys descend on the small town to represent the families, many attending the funerals of the children to make contact with their parents.

It is told from different perspectives. These include the bus driver, Dolores Driscoll, who escaped unscathed, but shattered by the enormity of the accident; Mitchell Stephens, a NYC attorney with a daughter fighting an addiction; Billy Ansel, a widowed Vietnam veteran whose twins both died in the crash; and Nichole Burnell, the fourteen-year-old girl who will never walk again and has been the victim of her father's sexual abuse for years.

This is a book whose stories will stay with me. The small town itself becomes a character when the inhabitants slowly come together following the tragedy.
… (mais)
pdebolt | 33 outras críticas | Jul 24, 2023 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors


Also by
Marcado como favorito

Tabelas & Gráficos