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Elsewhere - review - Richard Russo

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AWAY FROM HERE Russo offers a tribute to his mother, who plucked him from a depressed town

Elsewhere

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Richard Russo
publisher:
Knopf
genre:
Nonfiction, Memoir

We gave it a B+

The scrappy strivers who dot Russo’s fiction (Empire Falls, Nobody’s Fool) spring to real life on the pages of Elsewhere. Like so many of his characters, Russo grew up in a bleak upstate New York town that had been a thriving manufacturing hub — a place so depressed that by 1967, when he graduated from high school, ”you could have strafed Main Street with an automatic weapon without endangering a soul.” Russo escaped thanks to his single mom, Jean, and here he offers a poignant tribute to a woman who — elegantly coiffed and perfectly lipsticked — shouldered her way through life with pluck, luck, and sheer bravado. B+