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A Washington Post Notable Work of Nonfiction
An NPR Best Book of 2012
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Russo turns to memoir in this hilarious and bittersweet account of his lifelong bond with his high-strung, spirited mother—and the small town she spent her life trying to escape. Anyone familiar with Russo’s novels will recognize Gloversville—once famous for producing nine out of ten dress gloves in the United States. By the time Rick was born, ladies had stopped wearing gloves and Gloversville was on its way out. Jean Russo instilled in her son her dream of a better life elsewhere, a dream that prompted her to follow him across the country when he went to college. Their adventures and tribulations on that road trip were a preview of the hold his mother would continue to have on him as she kept trying desperately to change her life. Recounted with a clear-eyed mix of regret, nostalgia, and love, Elsewhere is a stirring tribute to the tenacious grip of the past.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
Only Richard Russo could write his memoir but be a supporting character. This is a thoughtful and compelling portrait of his mother, a woman who loved him fiercely but suffered from unrecognized/untreated OCD. Perhaps I loved his story so much because of my own shockingly similar experience with my own mother, an untreated Generalized Anxiety/Agoraphobia sufferer who was also molded by small town life during the Depression. His story of trying to keep his perpetually unhappy mother happy was a most therapeutic read for me. Thank you, Mr. Russo!