Wilton Reads! 2010: That Old Cape Magic, by Richard Russo — Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road Wilton, CT 06897 Tel: 203-762-3950

Wilton Reads! 2010: That Old Cape Magic, by Richard Russo

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Here you can listen to Richard Russo’s talk about That Old Cape Magic. This was recorded on Sunday, June 27, 2010. Also, in response to a question from the audience about what he likes to read for fun, he recommended short story writers Jill McCorkle and Charles Baxter and went on to praise young writers Lauren Groff (Delicate Edible Birds & Other Stories), Hannah Tinti (The Good Thief), Joshua Ferris (Then We Came To The End), Doug Dorst (Alive in Necropolis).

Richard RussoWe encourage all community members to join us this spring as we come together to read, discuss and reflect upon That Old Cape Magic, an always touching and often hilarious work of fiction by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo. It’s been called “a novel of deep introspection and every family feeling imaginable,” threaded through with “moments of great comedy and even hilarity alternating with others of rueful understanding and heart-stopping sadness.”

Bob Minzesheimer, USA Today reviewer, said of the author, “Russo has a gift for creating flawed characters you care about, despite or because of their flaws.” Those who have read his previous works will remember the complex yet resonating personalities that came to life on the pages of Mohawk, The Risk Pool, Nobody’s Fool , Straight Man (perhaps most similar to That Old Cape Magic in its almost slapstick spots of humor), Empire Falls (2002 Pulitzer Prize), and Bridge of Sighs. His publisher notes, “Russo’s vision of America would be bleak, except for the wit and optimism he infuses into his stories. Even when his characters are less than lovable, they are funny, rueful, and unfailingly human.”

In recognition of his exemplary contributions to contemporary literature, Mr. Russo will become the third recipient of Wilton Library’s Grodin Family Fine Writers Award when he arrives to speak to us on June 27th.

We are most grateful to our sponsors The Wilton Bank and United Way of Coastal Fairfield County for their generous contributions to underwrite our distribution of 100 free books, publicity, and fees associated with the Wilton Reads! Program.







10 am

Distribution of 100 free books



7 pm

Discussion of That Old Cape Magic with Susan Boyar (register now)



10:30 am

Discussion of That Old Cape Magic with Joanna Ecke (register now)



4 pm

Author Appearance: Richard Russo (register now)

That Old CapeIf you’re a member of a book discussion group, please tell your fellow book group members about what we’ve got in store. We’ve purchased extra copies of That Old Cape Magic for you to borrow, and have large print, audio CD, and Playaway versions of the book as well. You can reserve any of these versions and have them waiting for you at the front desk or the drive-up window on Godfrey Place.

Want to learn more about the author and novel? Explore these sites:

  • Book groups may find the Reading Group Guide for That Old Cape Magic particularly helpful.
  • The New York Times praised the book, saying, Family, family, family is the subject of That Old Cape Magic. The family is where the best — and the worst — things happen to us. Whether we embrace it or try to escape it, the family is at the center of our lives. Along with that voracious little worm of dissatisfaction, munching away. Which will triumph? Richard Russo roots for the family, but he knows the worm is there.”
  • Barnes & Noble’s Meet the Writer page includes a Q&A with Richard Russo. Another brief interview about the book appears on the Random House site.
  • LA Times reviewer Ron Charles said, “Although this is a much smaller canvas than Russo has worked on in recent years, what “That Old Cape Magic” lacks in breadth and plot momentum it makes up for with psychological nuance about the ties that bind — and snap. It’s a marvelous portrayal of the strands of affection and irritation that run through a family, entangling in-laws and children’s crushes and even old friends.”
  • The LitLovers site gives a summary, information about the author and access to several reviews.
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