Books

Elsewhere

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

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

B+

Elsewhere

Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir; Author: Richard Russo; Publisher: Knopf

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+

Originally posted October 26 2012 — 12:00 AM EDT

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