With Empire Falls Richard Russo cements his reputation as one of America’s most compelling and compassionate storytellers. Miles Roby has been slinging burgers at the Empire Grill for 20 years, a job that cost him his college education and much of his self-respect. What keeps him there? It could be his bright, sensitive daughter Tick, who needs all his help surviving the local high school. Or maybe it’s Janine, Miles’ soon-to-be ex-wife, who’s taken up with a noxiously vain health-club proprietor. Or perhaps it’s the imperious Francine Whiting, who owns everything in town–and seems to believe that “everything” includes Miles himself. In Empire Falls Richard Russo delves deep into the blue-collar heart of America in a work that overflows with hilarity, heartache, and grace.
Richard Russo grew up in Gloversville, New York, a small, mostly working-class town. He received his B.A. from the University of Arizona, went on to get a Master’s Degree, and had almost earned his Ph.D. in American literature when he decided that he would rather write his own novels than analyze other people's. He is the author of Mohawk, The Risk Pool, Nobody's Fool, which was made into a feature film starring Paul Newman, and Straight Man. A collection of his short fiction, The Whore’s Child, will be published by Alfred A. Knopf in Summer 2002. Russo teaches writing at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.