It's a terrific mixture of philosophy, personal stories, and commentary on the writing process itself. This fiction and nonfiction stranglehold makes too much the cookie-cutter readers of us, no? The essay is called "Mark Twain's Nonfiction" and gives insight into Russo's other literary hero, Mark as in Twain.The essays in this book are both entertaining and thought provoking. As for the essays about writing (the reason many writing aspirants might pick this up), there's some good and some bad.
Here he reviews the pros and cons of formal writing programs.
Russo studied in Arizona and has taught at several programs across the country.
I recently saw Russo at "Writers in the Loft," a program run through the Portsmouth Music Hall.
The small and intimate area of the Loft made it appear that Russo was speaking to each audience member individually rather than a large, shadowy group.
An utter joy to read, they give deep insight into the creative process from the prospective of one of our greatest writers. Thanks to the big picture, they can get away with murder (and sometimes, with whodunit). With Twain's masterpiece, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, it's the END of the book you lop off.
THE DESTINY THIEF is an engrossing look into the life and mind of author Richard Russo. Let In addition to reading more poetry, I'm trying to read more essays. Not the appearance of a Sam Weller as cue, but the reappearance of a Tom Sawyer. Rather he's looking at voice, at Twain's bigger-than-life audacity, on how the lines between Twain's fiction and nonfiction bled so badly you might as well give up distinguishing in some cases.A master of the novel, short story, and memoir, the best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Everybody's Fool now gives us his very first collection of personal essays, ranging throughout writing and reading and living.In these nine essays, Richard Russo provides insight into his life as a writer, teacher, friend, and reader. Thanks to the big picture, they can get away with murder (and sometimes, with whodunit). I enjoyed Russo's tight essays on Dickens and Twain.However, I wasn't 100% sure why these particular essays were put together in this collection.I wanted there to be a larger anchor or theme or poin I love Richard Russo, and I loved some of these essays.From a commencement speech he gave at Colby College, to the story of how an oddly placed toilet made him reevaluate the purpose of humor in art and life, to a comprehensive analysis of Mark Twain's value, to his harrowing journey accompanying a dear friend as she pursued gender-reassignment surgery, The Destiny Thief reflects the broad interests and experiences of one of America's most beloved authors. All you have to do is get past the first few chapters to the introduction of the character Sam Weller. And most every theme on society Dickens will get to in later books, only with a healthy sense of humor.Warm, funny, wise, and poignant, the essays included here traverse Russo's writing life, expanding our understanding of who he is and how his singular, incredibly generous mind works. (After Bleak House, it all gets rather bleak in CD Land.)Which sounds a bit like Twain in reverse.He believes the strength of such programs involves the intense scrutiny of one's writing as well as the writing of peers.In other words, one can learn from others' mistakes.The Destiny Thief is surprisingly entertaining while it reinforces the necessity of having literature in our lives.I love Richard Russo, and I loved some of these essays.