Russell Banks, an award-winning fiction writer who set novels like “Affliction” and “The Sweet Hereafter” in his native Northeast and imagined the hopes and disappointments of everyone from modern blue-collar workers to radical abolitionist John Brown, has died. He was 82.
Banks, a retired Princeton University professor, died Saturday in upstate New York, according to his editor, Dan Halpern. Banks was being treated for cancer, according to Halpern.
Joyce Carol Oates, who described Banks as a “great American writer” and “beloved friend of so many” on Twitter, said he died peacefully at home.
Russell Banks Biography
Russell Banks was born in Newton, Massachusetts, and raised in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, was a self-styled heir to 19th-century writers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne and Walt Whitman, aspiring to high art and a deep understanding of the country’s spirit. He was a plumber’s son who wrote frequently about working-class families and those who died trying to escape, caught up in a “kind of madness” that the past can be erased, and those who, like himself, got away and survived, asking “Why me, Lord?”
Banks spent part of the year in Florida and had a home in Jamaica for a time, but he was primarily a Northerner with an old Puritan sense of responsibility. Snow fell frequently in his fiction, whether on the upstate New York community torn apart by a bus accident in “The Sweet Hereafter” or on the desperate, divorced New Hampshire cop undone by his paranoid fantasies in “Affliction.”
In Banks’ seminal work “Continental Drift,” published in 1985, oil burner repairman Bob Dubois flees his home state of New Hampshire and goes into business with his wealthy brother in Florida, only to discover that his brother’s life was as hollow as his own.
“Bob knew his brother’s strut and brag were empty from the start, and in a deep, barely conscious way, he forgave him his strut and brag because he knew they were empty. But he never expected it to come to this, to nothing “Banks penned.
Famous Novel of Russell Banks
“Cloudsplitter,” a 750-page novel about John Brown and his unlikely quest to end slavery in the United States, was his most ambitious work.
Two of his novels, “Continental Drift” (1985) and “Cloudsplitter” (1998), were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, according to the newspaper. Other works included “The Sweet Hereafter” (1991) and “Affliction.”
FAQs About Russell Banks
When Did Russell Banks Die?
Russell Banks Died on 7 January 2023, and he was 82 years old.
Who is Russell Banks Wife?
Russell Banks had married twice. The first wife he had in 1953 whom he divorced in 1977. Later on, He married Chase Twichell in 1989. Chase Twichell is also an American Poet.