Russell Hoban was born on February 4, 1925 in Lansdale, Pennsylvania to Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. Hoban’s father was a newspaper manager as well as the director for the Philadelphia drama guild so Russell was exposed to the arts at an early age. He began to write as young student and has won many prizes for his work. Mr. Hoban has written fiction and science fiction novels for adults that have won acclaim both here and in Great Britain. Riddley Walker, a post-apocalyptic novel, won the John W. Campbell Award and was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award.
His first children’s novel The Mouse and His Child was published in 1968. One of Hoban’s most loveable characters is Frances, who is the star of many beloved books. Frances had many things to say but maybe one of my favorites is, “That’s how it is, Alice,” said Frances. “Your birthday is always the one that is not now.” from A Birthday for Frances.
Several of his children’s books have been made into films or movies such as Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas which was made into a Jim Henson/Muppet TV special.
Mr. Hoban died on December 13, 2011, in London, England.