The acclaimed, award-winning novelist takes us on some of his most memorable journeys in this revelatory collection of travel essays that spans the globe, from the Caribbean to Scotland to the Himalayas. Now in his mid-70s, Russell Banks has indulged his wanderlust for more than half a century. "Since childhood, I've longed for escape, for rejuvenation, for wealth untold, for erotic and narcotic and sybaritic fresh starts, for high romance, mystery, and intrigue," he writes in this compelling anthology. The longing for escape has taken him from the "bright green islands and turquoise seas" of the Caribbean islands to peaks in the Himalayas, the Andes, and beyond. In Voyager, Russell Banks, a lifelong explorer, shares highlights from his travels: interviewing Fidel Castro in Cuba; motoring to a hippie reunion with college friends in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; eloping to Edinburgh with his fourth wife, Chase; driving a sunset-orange metallic Hummer down Alaska's Seward Highway. In each of these remarkable essays, Banks considers his life and the world. In Everglades National Park, a "perfect place to time-travel", he traces his own time line. "I keep going back, and with increasingly clarity I see more of the place and more of my past selves. And more of the past of the planet as well." Recalling his trips to the Caribbean in the title essay, "Voyager", Banks dissects his relationships with the four women who would become his wives. In the Himalayas he embarks on a different quest of self-discovery. "One climbs a mountain not to conquer it but to be lifted like this away from the earth up into the sky," he explains. Pensive, frank, beautiful, and engaging, Voyager brings together the social, the personal, and the historical, opening a path into the heart and soul of this revered writer.
©2016 Russell Banks (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
Get to know the colorful cast of characters at the Granite State Trailerpark, where Flora in number 11 keeps more than 100 guinea pigs and screams at people to stay away from her babies, Claudel in number five thinks he is lucky until his wife burns down their trailer and runs off with Howie Leeke, and Noni in number seven has telephone conversations with Jesus and tells the police about them. In this series of related short stories, Russell Banks offers gripping, realistic portrayals of individual Americans and paints a portrait of New England life that is at once dark, witty, and revealing.
©2013 Russell Banks (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers
The Relation of My Imprisonment is a work of fiction utilizing a form invented in the seventeenth century by imprisoned Puritan divines. Designed to be exemplary, works of this type were aimed at brethren outside the prison walls and functioned primarily as figurative dramatization of the test of fait all true believers must endure. These "relations," framed by scripture and by a sermon explicating the text, were usually read aloud in weekly or monthly installments during religious services. Utterly sincere and detailed recounting of suffering, they were nonetheless highly artificial. To use the form self-consciously, as Russell Banks has done, is not to parody it so much as to argue good-humoredly with the mind it embodies, to explore and, if possible, to map the limits of that mind, the more intelligently to love it.
©1983 Russell Banks (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers
Now available for the first time in audiobook format, a powerful literary classic from one of contemporary fiction's most acclaimed and important writers. Russell Banks' Continental Drift is a masterful novel of hope lost and gained and a gripping, indelible story of fragile lives uprooted and transformed by injustice, disappointment, and the seductions and realities of the American dream.
©1985 Russell Banks (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
A masterly collection of new stories from Russell Banks, acclaimed author of The Sweet Hereafter and Rule of the Bone, which maps the complex terrain of the modern American family. The New York Times lauds Russell Banks as "the most compassionate fiction writer working today," and hails him as a novelist who delivers, "wrenching, panoramic visions of American moral life." Long celebrated for his unflinching, empathetic works that explore the unspoken but hard realities of contemporary culture, Banks now turns his keen intelligence and emotional acuity on perhaps his most complex subject yet: the shape of family in its many forms. Suffused with Banks's trademark lyricism and reckless humor, the 12 stories in A Permanent Member of the Family examine the myriad ways we try - and sometimes fail - to connect with one another, as we seek a home in the world. In the title story, a father looks back on the legend of the cherished family dog whose divided loyalties mirrored the fragmenting of his marriage. Moving between the stark beauty of winter in upstate New York and the seductive heat of Florida, A Permanent Member of the Family charts with subtlety and precision the ebb and flow of both the families we make for ourselves and the ones we're born into, as it asks how we know the ones we love and, in turn, ourselves. One of our most acute and penetrating authors, Banks's virtuosic writing animates stories that are profoundly humane, deeply - and darkly - funny, and absolutely unforgettable.
©2013 Russell Banks (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers