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2013 Recipient

Richard Russo Selected 2013 Hale Award Medalist

The Trustees of the Richards Free Library and the Judges of the Sarah Josepha Hale award are pleased to announce that novelist, Richard Russo, is the 2013 Hale Award Medalist.  He will accept the award on October 5, 2113 at 8:00 p.m. at the Newport Opera House.

A novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, and teacher, Richard Russo earned a bachelor’s degree, a master’s in fine arts, and a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.  He is the author of Mohawk, The Risk Pool, Nobody’s Fool, Straight Man, Empire Falls, The Whore’s Child and Other Stories, Bridge of Sighs, That Old Cape Magic, and Interventions. His memoir Elsewhere was published in 2012. Retired from Colby College in Waterville, Maine, Russo lives with his wife in Camden, Maine

Wes McNair, of the Sarah Hale Award Board of Judges, stated that Russo “deals with the small-town life that is so important to New England identity and culture. The Pulitzer Prize Russo won for his Maine novel, Empire Falls, shows that his work has both quality and an appeal extending well beyond the place he writes about. Among contemporary New England novelists, he is by any assessment a significant figure.”

For over fifty years, the Sarah Josepha Hale Award, has been given by the trustees of the Richards Free Library in recognition of a distinguished body of written work in the field of literature and letters.  The award honors Sarah Josepha Hale, author, poet, and essayist, who as editor of Godey’s Lady’s Magazine shaped the opinion of nineteenth century American women.  The list of Hale Award winners includes the finest writers of our times from Robert Frost in 1956 to Jill Lepore in 2012.

For more information about the Hale award please contact Andrea Thorpe, Director of the Richards Free Library at 603-863-3430 or

photo credit: Elena Seibert

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