by Richard Russo


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Mohawk, New York, is one of those small towns that lie almost entirely on the wrong side of the tracks. Its citizens, too, have fallen on hard times. Dallas Younger, a star athlete in high school, now drifts from tavern to poker game, losing money, and, inevitably, another set of false teeth. His ex-wife, Anne, is stuck in a losing battle with her mother over the care of her sick father. And their son, Randall, is deliberately neglecting his school work--because in a place like Mohawk it doesn't pay to be too smart.


In Mohawk, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Richard Russo, explores these lives with profound compassion and flint-hard wit. Out of derailed ambitions and old loves, secret hatreds and communal myths, he has created a richly plotted, densely populated, and wonderfully written novel that captures every nuance of America's backyard.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679753827
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/28/1994
Series: Vintage Contemporaries Series
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 199,610
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Richard Russo is the author of eight novels; two collections of stories; and Elsewhere, a memoir. In 2002 he received the Pulitzer Prize for Empire Falls, which like Nobody’s Fool was adapted to film, in a multiple-award-winning HBO miniseries.


Gloversville, New York

Date of Birth:

July 15, 1949

Place of Birth:

Johnstown, New York


B.A., University of Arizona, 1967; Ph.D., University of Arizona, 1979; M.F.A., University of Arizona, 1980

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Mohawk 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
randeejae More than 1 year ago
As a first novel, it was clear that Russo would be someone to watch. While I found the characters a bit difficult to keep straight initially, by the middle of the book, I couldn't put it down. I didn't love the characters as I have all of Russo's subsequent small town folks. The poignant tug on your heart as you follow along a total a-hole was missing. However, I still think it was a very good book and remarkable for a first novel.
Dorritt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book challenged me to ask myself what comprises a "good book". On the one hand, the part of me that majored in English in college loved every delicious page of this well-crafted work. Superb character sketches, insightful themes (can true love be wrong? are our lives directed by fate or self-will? why do we remain loyal to our mistakes? why do we seek to rationalize that which is inherently irrational?), some imaginative symbolism, the author's honest, graceful voice and technical skill - especially the way Russo paces the novel so that information & insights emerge organically, in the context of the story rather than via awkward expository text - kept me on my toes throughout the story, grinning with scholarly pleasure each time a plot deftly wrapped in on itself or a particularly ingenious turn of phrase suddenly illuminated a theme or universal truth. I love, too, that Russo doesn't condescend to his readers, trusting us to make inferences and recognize themes and to spot irony without hitting us over the head with it. On the other hand, the reader in me craved something more ... filling. Characters that change and grow rather than remaining fixed points. (I recognize that this is a major theme of the story, but that doesn't make it any more satisfying.) A plot dominant enough to unite and give purpose to the fragmented, endlessly intersecting strands of storyline. Conflicts that rise above - or at least make more noble/meaningful - the everyday conflicts of duty, loyalty, selfishness, desire & honor that shape these characters' lives. This story simply doesn't stand up when it comes to capturing the reader's imagination - or heart. I haven't yet read Empire Falls, but if Russo ever figures out how to blend his technical brilliance with characters & a story that capture the reader's attention and empathy, he is destined to become a formidable literary figure. I get English major goosebumps just thinking about it!
delphica on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
(#17 in the 2004 Book Challenge)Okay so we're having a bit of a Richard Russo-fest in our household. This is, I think, his first novel and it's very decent although not spectacular. Life in a small town in New York State. The ending is a little too ... um, trying too hard to be highly dramatic yet profound, or something ... but overall it's not bad.Grade: B+Recommended: to people who liked Empire Falls, also to fans of Michael Chabon (I think they have a similar voice, or at the very least, a voice with similar appeal).
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Where do i post her bio?
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I'm back!
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May i join?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A tall 14 year old girl asked.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yeah bios in the second result im in the third result
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did we move to nigh or somethng i heard camp was at scarlet letter. I heard it was at nigh . WERE IS THE REAL CAMP?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Huh thats weird
mistermomo More than 1 year ago
Yuck. Good author, terrible book.