An interview with Richard Russo: novelist and fan of first fictions – The Boston Globe

by Scott Smith

RUSSO: Depends on how good it is. When the books aren’t so good I find myself, especially as I get older, resentful. I start thinking I was going to reread Charles Dickens’ “Little Dorrit’’ and the reason that I can’t is I’m reading this. A couple years ago, the novelist Russell Banks told me he was reading the ancient Greek historian Herodotus. I asked why. He said, ‘‘Because I’ve always wanted to and am tired of having my reading assigned.’’ I thought it was a marvelous declaration of independence.