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Richard Russo: 'That Old Cape Magic'
Richard Russo

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Russo made his name with gritty stories of small-town, working-class guys and their families making do, getting by — in “Nobody’s Fool,” “Empire Falls,” “Bridge of Sighs.”

His new novel sets the drama against summer vacations on Cape Cod — and sets a midlife search for happiness against the baggage handed down from parents.

The Cape is always there, waiting. And so are the shadows of mom and dad.

This hour, Richard Russo and his new novel, “That Old Cape Magic.”

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guest:

Richard Russo joins us in our studio. He’s the author of six previous novels, including “Mohawk,” “Nobody’s Fool,” “Straight Man,” “Empire Falls,” which won the Pulitzer Prize, and “Bridge of Sighs.” His most recent is “That Old Cape Magic.” You can read an excerpt here.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Lilya Lopheka

    Suggestion for the Producers of OnPoint:

    Can you have one program about Suggestions from Listeners regarding future Topics and Guests.

    Perhaps some disclosure about the current selection process, how the bookings are done, etc.

    Example: Dick Army – he was corrupt. And they he organizes town-hall discussion busting activities, which are almost criminal. Then he becomes instant hit with talk shows and the media. Why is that?

    If this is a “Public” radio, the discussion of the topics should also bit a bit public.

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    Lilya: I’m not sure why you would post a complaint about OnPoint’s selection process in the comment thread of Richard’s Russo’s show. Russo is not only an incredible author but has great ideas about small town life, literature and more.

    If you don’t like Russo then the solution is simple: turn the dial or turn the radio off.

    I applaud onPoint’s choice of show topics (and Russo in particular) and would vote against taking a poll to see what types of shows listeners want to hear. Tom and the production staff are picking timely topics and covering them in ways that keep my interest.

    I also support the second hour being on an author, artist or some less political topic.

    Do I agree with every person on this show? Of course not. But, I don’t listen to the show for a massage, I listen to learn.

    Keep up the great work onPoint.

  • gina

    lilya (and others),

    if you have a comment for tom ashbrook or his
    producers, you can email them directly, rather
    than post on this forum.

    from the CONTACT US link at the left of this page,
    “Send an email to: onpoint at wbur dot org”

    ==================================================

    i’ll echo richard’s comment above; i’m looking forward to this interview w/ russo. tom’s last conversation w/
    him was terrific! (has he really cranked out another book already?)

  • Lilya Lopekha

    No offense to Russo. He is a very cool guy.

    Sincere apologies, big time.

  • Tim Dufault

    Sitting listening to Richard Russo as I swelter in Central Massachusetts – makes me want to head to the Cape, spread out the blanket and crack the binder of “That Old Cape Magic.”

  • Birgit Scherer-Wiedmeyer

    If Rick reads this comment thread, Rick, I’m a “blast from your past.” When I first came over to the US as a graduate student from Germany, you were one of the people who greeted me and you and your wife gave me a ride to one of the treasured English Department parties at SIU! This may be the reason why “Straight Man” was my favorite. Loved the humor! I am very much looking forward to reading your new book.
    Birgit Scherer-Wiedmeyer

  • Cynthia

    Sometimes I find Russo’s writing misleading. I feel like a trusting outsider being led through the inner workings of his tightly knit character community. Often, a character is promoted as intuitive or written as delinquent only to find out later that they might not be what I was led to believe. This is part of Richard Russo’s genius but I find it aggravating. For example, Cindy Whiting in Empire Falls was conceived as pathetic and hopeless, but at the very end we see that Miles purports hopelessness upon a girl that is able to find happiness in the love and care of a simple relationship. This confusion reminds me of the depth of real people. But it comes across as a bait and switch tact, and I’m left to examine, every twist, unable to draw myself away from the novel.

  • charlie mc

    During WW II, my Dad used to rent us a three room cottage in Dennisport on the Cape, with no interior doors, a well pump and an out house for $30 a week. We would spend a month there and I hated it because I was missing out on baseball games in my hometown. In my college years, ten of us rented a cottage every weekend for $5 a night. What a great time!
    Now, every Cape road is a traffic jam all summer, the lines at restaurants and the costs are huge, and I avoid the Cape if possible.
    But Oh those college years, still live on in my happiest of memories. Thanks,

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