Adirondack author Russell Banks dies at 82
The award-winning author Russell Banks died over the weekend at age 82. Banks lived in the Adirondacks for much of his life.
He wrote more than 20 works of fiction and nonfiction, including the novel Cloudsplitter, a fictionalized biography of the abolitionist John Brown.
The novel was a finalist for the Pulitzer prize in 1999. Banks also wrote poetry and was first published as a poet in 1969 with his collection titled, Waiting to Freeze.
Banks continued to publish books in recent years, including the novel Foregone in 2021 and The Magic Kingdom in Nov. 2022.
Banks read from Foregone at the Adirondack Center for Writing in 2021.
"We here at ACW mourn the loss of a great American writer, a champion of the Adirondack literary community, and a dear friend," said ACW executive director Nathalie Thill in a statement.
"Russell Banks wrote stark, honest, and important books about—and for—the Adirondack community, reflecting rural mountain life back to us with love, respect, and humanizing detail," Thill added.
Banks was awarded honorary doctorate degrees from three North Country schools — St. Lawrence University, Clarkson University, and Paul Smith’s College.
He helped establish the Lake Placid Film Festival more than two decades ago.
Banks was being treated for cancer and died at his home in Saratoga Springs on Saturday.
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