At the risk of appearing disingenuous, I don't really think of myself as 'writing humor.' I'm simply reporting on the world I observe, which is frequently hilarious.— Richard Russo
The most jittery Richard Russo quotes that will be huge advantage for your personal development
And there comes a time in your life when you realize that if you don't take the opportunity to be happy, you may never get another chance again.
People sometimes get in the habit of being loyal to a mistake.
After all, what was the whole wide world but a place for people to yearn for their heart's impossible desires, for those desires to become entrenched in defiance of logic, plausibility, and even the passage of time, as eternal as polished marble.
What if all everybody needed in the world was to be sure of one friend? What if you were the one, and you refused to say those simple words?
He'd discovered that his memories of that summer were like bad movie montages - young lovers tossing a Frisbee in the park, sharing a melting ice-cream cone, bicycling along the river, laughing, talking, kissing, a sappy score drowning out the dialogue because the screenwriter had no idea what these two people might say to each other.
My books are elegiac in the sense that they're odes to a nation that even I sometimes think may not exist anymore except in my memory and my imagination.
Bookstores, like libraries, are the physical manifestation of the wide world's longest, most thrilling conversation.
They stayed, many of them, because staying was easier and less scary than leaving.
What I discovered I liked best about striking out on my bicycle was that the farther I got from home, the more interesting and unusual my thoughts became.
I suppose all writers worry about the well running dry.
Cary Grant never won an Oscar, primarily, I suspect, because he made everything look so effortless. Why reward someone for having fun, for being charming?
Even at its most perceptive, sociology deals in abstractions.
HBO is really famous for hiring good people and staying out of their way until they ask for help, or need it. And that reputation is earned.
A lot of my characters in all of my books have a self-destructive urge.
They'll do precisely the thing that they know is wrong, take a perverse delight in doing the wrong thing.
I looked back at some of my earlier published stories with genuine horror and remorse. I got thinking, How many extant copies might there be, who owns them, and do they keep their doors locked?
If my career continues along its current arc, people will probably look at me and see a writer who is obsessed with the relationship between rich and poor and with how the rich somehow or other always manage to betray the poor, even when they don't mean to.
Movies have to handle time very efficiently.
They're about stringing scenes together in the present. Novels aren't necessarily about that.
Some authors have a very hard time understanding that in order to be faithful to the spirit of the book, it's almost always impossible to remain faithful to the text. You have to make changes.
I think the darker aspect of my fiction-or anybody's fiction-is by its very nature somehow easier to talk about.
You can be interested in a Jane Smiley novel whether or not anyone says a word.
She enters into her characters' thoughts with great understanding and depth.
I was pretty dead set against ever writing an academic novel.
It's always been my view that there are already more than enough academic novels and that most of them aren't any good. Most of them are self-conscious and bitter, the work of people who want to settle grudges.
If you work at comedy too laboriously, you can kill what's funny in the joke.
Odd that the future should be so difficult to bring into focus when the past, uninvited, offered itself up so easily for inspection.
Usually by the time I finish a book tour I've just about had it with the book.
Structure is one of the things that I always hope will reveal itself to me.
Don't even the best and most fortunate of lives hint at other possibilities, at a different kind of sweetness and, yes, bitterness too? Isn't this why we can't help feeling cheated, even when we know we haven't been?
I have to have a character worth caring about.
I tend not to start writing books about people I don't have a lot of sympathy for because I'm just going to be with them too long.
Ultimately, your theme will find you. You don't have to go looking for it.
I don't think there's a shortage of material in the world.
Or in my head. I just pray for continued good health, because I've got other stories to tell.
I think it would be harder for me not to write comedy because the comic view of things is the one that comes most naturally to me.
To expect reason is where the fallacy lies.
What does it feel like to be a parent? What does it feel like to be a child? And that's what stories do. They bring you there. They offer a dramatic explanation, which is always different from an expository explanation.
It's no secret that in my books I'm trying to make the comic and the serious rub up against each other just as closely and uncomfortably as I can.
I think that if people are instructed about anything, it should be about the nature of cruelty. And about why people behave so cruelly to each other. And what kind of satisfactions they derive from it. And why there is always a cost, and a price to be paid.
You can't possibly judge your ability to control something until you've experienced the extremes of its capabilities. Do you understand?
When my nose finally stops bleeding and I've disposed of the bloody paper towels, Teddy Barnes insists on driving me home in his ancient Honda Civic, a car that refuses to die and that Teddy, cheap as he is, refuses to trade in.
Was anything in the world truer than that intuitive leap of the heart?
The other possibility was that there was no right thing to say, that the choice wasn't between right and wrong but between wrong, more wrong, and as wrong as you can get.
It's possible to overlook character flaws of in-laws for the simple reason that you feel neither responsible for them nor genetically implicated.
If there's an enduring theme in my work, it's probably the effects of class on American life.
Sleep is over-rated. Have you ever noticed how it's always recommended to people anybody with half a brain can see need to wake up?
I don't think America has ever had a center the way London is the center of England or Dublin is the center of Ireland.
By ignoring a lot of American culture you can write more interesting stories.
Unfortunately, if you were writing about America as it is, you'd be writing about a lot of people sitting in front of television sets.
My dad had this rock hard body and would work 12- to 13-hour days.
The guys he worked with were scrap-iron guys. Nobody on that road crew had read a book in 10 years, but there was something about the way they lived I really admired.
In the end it all came down to companionship, to friendship, to sacrifice, to compromise.
People often ask me how I make things funny. I don't make things funny.
Who but an English professor would threaten to kill a duck a day and hold up a goose as an example?
To weigh and evaluate a vast grid of information, much of it meaningless, and to arrive at sensible, if erroneous, conclusions, is a skill not to be sneezed at.
I read pretty voraciously. If it's good, I don't care what it is.