Click to receive personalized book recommendations daily.
Check Out These
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
See the List

The Destiny Thief

The Destiny Thief by Richard Russo
May 08, 2018 | 224 Pages
See All Formats (3) +
  • Paperback $16.00

    Jun 04, 2019 | 224 Pages

  • Hardcover $25.95

    May 08, 2018 | 224 Pages

  • Ebook $13.99

    May 08, 2018 | 224 Pages

Buy the Audiobook Download:

Product Details


“As a whole, the book is a quest to understand nothing less than why life turns out the way it does . . . He weaves scenes from [his] destiny-swapping  years—the gut-punching failures; the life of teaching that enabled the life of writing—with literary long takes, illuminating a winding road trip . . . Perhaps what’s most admirable about these essays is their genial and searching tone. In this know-it-all age Russo places his faith in the ideals of art—ambiguity, paradox, heresy, the sublime—over the black-and-white ideologies or our current politics.”—Jay Fielden, New York Times Book Review

“A heartfelt exploration of [Russo’s] life as a writer.”—Chelsea Adelaine Hassler, POPSUGAR “20 Best New Books to Read in May”
“Readers who come to this book in search of the storyteller they know from Russo’s fiction will be well-rewarded. . . . [He] proves to be a familiar presence—thoughtful, funny, endearing—and surprising, as well. . . . Russo delivers the cozy intelligence and comic savvy that readers have come to admire.”—Joan Silverman, Portland Press Herald
“A remarkable and insightful exploration into the mind of a wonderful writer.”—Stuart Shiffman, Book Reporter

“All-encompassing. . . . Anyone in search of an eye-opening series of essays by a distinguished writer about writing and the writing life need look no further.”—Robert Allen Papinchak, The National Book Review
“Captivating . . . generous-hearted essays on writing and life [that] fully display Russo’s trademark warmth and wit, and are marked by a fair dose of unpretentious wisdom and a genuineness that sometimes borders on self-effacement. . . . The Destiny Thief puzzles with the mysteries of what good writing is and what good living is.”—Robert Weibezahl, BookPage
“Splendid. . . . These are wise, personal pieces, and readers get to know the author as a comforting, funny, and welcoming guy.”—Kirkus
“Certain to please anyone familiar with his short fiction and novels. . . . The unselfconscious voice threading through these nine explorations of writing, writers, and everyday life is a welcome alternative to the all-too-common introspection and fraught ‘literariness’ found in many recent memoir and essay collections from prominent authors. Readers seeking a deeply insightful record of the creative process and the life guiding it will find resonance here.”—Library Journal (starred)
“For aspiring writers, Russo’s musings on the art and craft of the novel are a trove of knowledge and guidance. For adoring readers, they are a window into the imagination and inspiration for Russo’s beloved novels, screenplays, and short stories. . . . Few authors seem as approachable in print and, one suspects, in person as acclaimed novelist Russo.”—Booklist
“Russo’s colorful book offers his novel’s fans more of his dazzling and moving writing, often revealing glimpses of forces that drive a bestselling fiction writer.”—Publishers Weekly

Table Of Contents

The Destiny Thief

The Gravestone and the Commode

Getting Good

Address to the Graduates of Colby College

The Pickwick Papers

Imagining Jenny

What Frogs Think:  A Defense of Omniscience

Mark Twain’s Nonfiction

The Boss in Bulgaria


Looking for More Great Reads?
Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now
Back to Top