Russell Hoban, author, b.1925, d.2011

Author Russell Hoban died Tuesday, December 13th in hospital in London. Hoban is best known as the author of the Frances books: Bread and Jam for Frances, Bedtime for Frances, A Baby Sister for Frances, A Bargain for Frances. We use Frances-isms in our house all the time.

Being careful isn’t nice; being friends is better.

“How do you know what I’ll like if you won’t even try me?”

“That is how it is, Alice. Your birthday is always the one that is not now.”

More favorite Francesisms.

However, as much as I adore all the Frances books, another book called Nothing To Do may be my favorite Hoban picture book. I say “may be” only because I can’t get my hands on a copy, and so I haven’t seen the book in twenty years. In the story, Little Charlotte is bored and can’t find anything to do until her father gives her a talisman that will always keep her busy.

I had no idea, but Mr. Hoban also wrote adult novels and several children’s and young adult novels. “Mr. Hoban’s final book, a young adult novel called Soonchild, about passing stories from one generation to the next, is forthcoming.” (Washington Post obituary) “He had once ruefully observed that death would be a good career move: People will say, ‘yes, Hoban, he seems an interesting writer, let’s look at him again’.” (Wikipedia, Russell Hoban)

Russell Hoban was a fine author and a creative mind. He will be missed.
Fuse #8 Interview with Russell Hoban, November 11, 2010.

3 thoughts on “Russell Hoban, author, b.1925, d.2011

  1. Oh, this both made me sad to hear he had died and happy to think about Frances again. I grew up with Frances and her songs.

  2. We have a shelf full of Frances, and I’ve read his ‘Mouse and His Child.’ Last week and this week, we’ve been revisiting ‘Harvey’s Hideout’ and ‘Charlie the Tramp.’ A sad coincidence to be doing this the week of his death. I agree, he will be missed.

  3. Oh! I didn’t realize he had died! One of my favorite memories of library school was having our fabulous professor read one of the Frances books aloud.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *