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Works of Radical Imagination

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of our friend, the writer Russell Banks. We only published one book with him, the oral history project Dreaming Up America, but he was one of the nine actors who showed up at the Steppenwolf Theatre to be filmed performing in Nelson Algren Live, to celebrate Nelson Algren's centennial, playing Algren's father, among other roles. We could always count on Russell. When we introduced him to the International Parliament of Writers, he eventually became president of their Cities of Refuge program. 

Russell made the literary life look beautiful because his literary life was beautiful. No one was more gregarious or more fun-loving. He could take on the heaviest projects with the lightest of hearts, or make it seem so, and so many of his books, Cloudsplitter and Rule of the Bone to name just two, were enduring, great works of American literature. He rarely repeated himself. God rest his soul.

—Dan Simon

Read the New York Times obituary for Russell Banks here

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