Russell Banks, the great American writer, is dying

American writer Russell BanksHe is one of the greatest teachers of American literatures, and the author of such excellent novels as “affliction” or “sweet hereafter” that filmmakers Paul Schrader and Atom Egoyam They went to the movies consecutively, and he died last Saturday at his residence in upstate New York. The author, who was a professor emeritus at Princeton University, At the age of 82cancer victim. The news was confirmed Sunday by his editor, Dan Halpern, of the Associated Press and picked up on Twitter by her good friend. Joyce Carol OatesOates had been a classmate of Banks at university and recalled how in their adjoining offices they shared the difficulties of writing. “cloudcracker” In the case of Banks, and “Blond”, in relation to the author.

Although he lived part of the year in Florida and had a home in Jamaica, Banks’s literature will be remembered for the icy winter landscapes of his native Massachusetts or upstate New York, where he also lived, which are good settings for a good part of his novels. The son of a modest family in which his father worked as a plumber, the great subject of the author, who always acknowledged his debt to humanist teachers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne or Walt Whitman, was one of The hardships of the working class he portrayed with tremendous sympathy And understanding. Most of its protagonists are characters who have been tortured by adverse circumstances or by their own demons, such as the case of the desperate and paranoid cop who stars in “Scourge” or the protagonist. ‘continental drift’an ordinary American looking to get rich until he realizes the emptiness of his life.

Controversial John Brown

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Banks’ most ambitious, comprehensive, and acknowledged novel, the aforementioned “Cloudcracker,” follows the life of the legendary and controversial Anti-abolitionist hero John Brown, associated with its lights and shadows by his son and which in no way detracts from the work of William Faulkner or Cormac McCarthy. Thanks to this novel, the author was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1999, 13 years after he was nominated for that prize for Continental Drift. Affliction, the basis for the Schrader film starring Nick Nolte, won James Coburn an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for his role as the father of the protagonist.

Banks’ latest book, the novel The Dropouts, published by Sexto Piso last year, is the story of an American director who fled to Canada in his youth to escape the Vietnam War. In that confessional story, it was an intimate and descriptive farewell from the author to his readers.

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