Trajectory, Richard Russo’s latest literary offering,  is not what the reader might expect after reading Empire Falls, Bridge of Sighs or Everybody’s Fool.  In Trajectory Russo offers four separate works of short fiction all with unique characters in disparate plots. Of the four, I liked  Intervention best, perhaps because it is set in Russo’s familiar home state, Maine.

Short Fiction is an open-ended read as compared with the short story. Nice for Russo to demonstrate his talent in this genre but if I were picking up Russo for the first time I would  choose from among his stack of wonderful novels. (see








Richard Russo’s 2007 novel Bridge of Sighs, published six years after his Pulitzer Prize winning Empire Falls, captures the rhythms of small town life in Russo’s own inimitable style. In Bridge of Sighs Russo transports the reader to upstate New York where he delivers many of life’s complexities and social issues through a wide cast of characters whose lives are interconnected through intricate webs of relationships.


The menu of contemporary issues is complete: Racism, mental illness, bullying, teenage sex, tyrannical fathers, loyalty without love, love without loyalty, divorce, reconciliation, industrial pollution, Cancer, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters.

From this churning pot of small town contradictions emerges in Venice , a world renown artist, made famous by placing on canvas  mental images of the provincial place of his boyhood. A local legend says that lovers will be granted eternal love and bliss if they kiss on a gondolagat sunset under Venice’s Bridge of Sighs. Will unrequited love appear?  Without question a good read from a great American novelist.

Also by Richard Russo: Mohawk, The Risk Pool, Nobody’s Fool, Straight Man, The Whore’s Child