Elsewhere book review

Richard Russo Discuss this article

2012_else_1
© ITP Images

4/5
As the author of novels such as Straight Man and Nobody’s Fool, Richard Russo has established himself as a reliable chronicler of both the incorruptible and the venal aspects of human nature. He’s also demonstrated a special sympathy for outsiders: in his new memoir, that affinity takes on an excruciatingly personal tone. Conveying his loving, yet frequently tortured, relationship with his late mother, Russo vividly relates the burdens of caring for the elderly, as well as the accompanying fantasies of freedom.

The trouble starts when Russo’s mother decides to leave behind a stable job in order to relocate with him to Arizona, as the aspiring author heads to college. As the years go by, her anxiety increases, leading to frightening episodes of panic-driven meltdown; but rather than seek care, she decides to rely on self-medication and her son’s attention.

Ultimately, Elsewhere represents both the author’s profound love and anger, a painful duality given additional weight by his mother’s recent death. Elizabeth Nelson

By Jenny Hewett
Time Out Doha,

Add your review/feedback

Subscribe to weekender newsletter

Prove you're not a robot:

Submit

The Knowledge

2015 Oscar nominations revealed
Jan 15

Shortlist for the Academy Awards unveiled, ceremony February 22

Michael Bublé ticket update
Jan 8

Tickets to go back on sale on Thursday January 8 at 2.30pm

Michael Bublé tickets on sale now
Jan 7

Tickets to see Canadian crooner in the UAE are now on sale

Newsletters

Sign up now