Richard Russo is a high-profile, Pulitzer Prize winner. He is an author whose often complex books mine the terrain of masculine self-discovery and how many people--flawed men and women--grapple with the idea of trying to connect to and feel at home in the world. He's shown great versatility with Empire Falls, Bridge of Sighs and in his latest, That Old Cape Magic - a comic, road trip novel written in a similiar style and tone to Russo's first book, Straight Man. (Hilarious!) Men are always at the center of Russo's novels (that's their appeal), but according to Yabroff, "The way Russo tells it, women are bitches, bovine, dumb (but shrewd); like witches, and their familiars, cats, they have magical powers to summon misfortune on any man who crosses them." You certainly don't need to read between the lines to recognize how Yabroff's insulting assessment of Russo's fictional women and his writing, in general, is a vicious and poorly substantiated attack. Excellent rebuttal essay about the Newsweek article by Bethanne Patrick over at BookStudio.
Photo of Richard Russo by Elena Seibert