Caption: Richard Russo
Richard Russo 

Screenwriter and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, Richard Russo

From: New Letters on the Air
Length: 29:00

Novelist Richard Russo describes plotting a novel much the way he describes life: a series of choices until only the inevitable is left. He talks about applying this towards his novels BRIDGE OF SIGHS and THAT OLD CAPE MAGIC. Read the full description.

Russo_richard_small Richard Russo, known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel EMPIRE FALLS, describes his writing process as “hiking without knowing where your trails are going.”  The author returned to NEW LETTERS ON THE AIR to talk about everything from writing screenplays to writing novels and short stories.  As, in his words, a “late-career novelist,” he learned that when he runs out of experience, he reads the terrain and weaves a story from the clues he can see ahead.  Russo reads from his most recent novels, BRIDGE OF SIGHS and THAT OLD CAPE MAGIC.

To hear the full audio, sign up for a free PRX account or log in.

More from New Letters on the Air

Piece image

American Book Award-winning Poet Martín Espada (29:00)
From: New Letters on the Air

We celebrate National Poetry Month and the beginning of baseball season with Martín Espada's triple award-winning collection, THE TROUBLE BALL. In this public reading for ...
Piece image

Poet and Children's Author Janice N. Harrington (29:00)
From: New Letters on the Air

Short Description: To transition from Women's History to National Poetry Month, NEW LETTERS ON THE AIR features Janice N. Harrington, who draws from myriad experiences to ...
Piece image

Korean Born Author Maija Rhee Devine (29:00)
From: New Letters on the Air

As part of Park University's Ethnic Voices Poetry Series at the Kansas City Public Library, Maija (May-jah) Rhee (ree) Devine recounts how her extraordinary past and family ...
Caption: Anne Enright

Man Booker Prize-winning author Anne Enright (29:00)
From: New Letters on the Air

For Women's History Month with a nod to St.Patty's Day, we revisit Irish author Anne Enright, who discusses her dark but humorous approach to writing about love, desire, ...
Piece image

Crime Novelist and Investigative Reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan (29:00)
From: New Letters on the Air

Acclaimed crime fiction writer and Emmy-winning investigative reporter, Hank Phillippi Ryan reads from her Mary Higgins Clark award-winning novel, THE OTHER WOMAN, and its ...
Piece image

Maxine Kumin: Past American Voice (29:00)
From: New Letters on the Air

We begin the celebration of Women's History Month with a tribute to Maxine Kumin, who died on February 6, 2014 at the age of 88. A former Consultant in Poetry to Library of ...
Piece image

Kansas Native Robert Day (29:00)
From: New Letters on the Air

Regularly published in NEW LETTERS magazine, as well as in other journals and newspapers nationwide, Robert Day discusses his two most recent works: the 2012 book of short ...
Piece image

Understanding Others: Transformative Writers (29:00)
From: New Letters on the Air

In honor of the United Nations' World Day of Social Justice on February 20th, "Understanding Others: Transformative Writers" features excerpts from six 2013 programs that ...
Piece image

Renowned poet, playwright, and activist Sonia Sanchez (29:00)
From: New Letters on the Air

One of the most important writers of the Black Arts Movement, Sonia Sanchez recently completed her term as Philadelphia's first Poet Laureate. This author, professor, and ...
Piece image

Edwidge Danticat (29:00)
From: New Letters on the Air

Edwidge Danticat, winner of the MacArthur Foundation Genius Award, returns fifteen years after her first interview with NEW LETTERS ON THE AIR to talk about her literary ...

Piece Description

Richard Russo, known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel EMPIRE FALLS, describes his writing process as “hiking without knowing where your trails are going.”  The author returned to NEW LETTERS ON THE AIR to talk about everything from writing screenplays to writing novels and short stories.  As, in his words, a “late-career novelist,” he learned that when he runs out of experience, he reads the terrain and weaves a story from the clues he can see ahead.  Russo reads from his most recent novels, BRIDGE OF SIGHS and THAT OLD CAPE MAGIC.

Broadcast History

This program originally uplinked to PRSS' Content Depot on July 15, 2011 for delivery to member stations.

Timing and Cues

PROMO: On the next NEW LETTERS ON THE AIR... Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Russo talks about how he came to write his latest novel, THAT OLD CAPE MAGIC. It began as a short story, and Russo recognized that the comic romp would become a novel with the convertible driver encountered a wayward seagull. Listen to Richard Russo, author of novels, short stories and screenplays, next time on NEW LETTERS ON THE AIR...
UPLINK DATE: 07/15/2011
PROGRAM LENGTH: 29:00 minutes
INCUE: (music) "BRIDGE OF SIGHS, Richard Russo's sixth novel..."
OUTCUE: "... I'm Angela Elam for NEW LETTERS ON THE AIR."

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
Starry Skies Gene Michael Productions Safe Haven. Gene Michael Productions 2010 :00
Cabin in the Woods Gene Michael Productions Safe Haven. Gene Michael Productions 2010 :00

Additional Credits

New Letters on the Air is a production of the quarterly literary magazine, New Letters, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Partial financial support comes from the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

Related Website

http://www.newletters.org/ontheair.asp