Russell Hoban

(b. 1925)

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American novelist and children's writer, born in Pennsylvania, he moved to London in 1969. Hoban's fables have affinities with magic realism: set in bizarre but internally consistent worlds, they feature characters on strange quests, allusions to classical mythology, extensive anthropomorphism, bleak humour, and erudite wordplay. His novels include The Lion of Boaz‐Jachin and Jachin‐Boaz (1973), Kleinzeit (1974), and Turtle Diary (1975, filmed in 1985, with screenply by Pinter), in which two disaffected people share an obsession with freeing turtles from London Zoo; Riddley Walker (1980), set in south‐east England thousands of years after a nuclear holocaust; Pilgermann (1983); The Medusa Frequency (1987); Fremder (1996); and Mr Rinyo‐Clacton's Offer (1998). He wrote the libretto for Harrison Birtwistle's opera The Second Mrs Kong (1994), and more than 50 books for children.

Subjects: Literature.

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