Saturday, May 10, 2008

Book about SIU? How did I miss this before?

My Mother passed me a book that is about SIUC's English department, "Straight Man" by Richard Russo.  Russo, a former SIU English professor, has got the whole thing down cold.  I have been laughing out loud, as I read it.  Wish I had read it, before I wasted anytime dealing with SIU.



dave said...

I knew Rick when he was here. We used to play basketball at Bob Pauls court (used to be Phil Gilbert's) on Walnut St. Poets Rodney Jones, Steve Falcone, and other faculty and locals. We called it the 'Risk Pool' League, because in order to play, you had to have read or written "The Risk Pool," pub. 1987 or so. A brilliant book, as well. I hear he's writing scripts now. Probably watching the Celtics vs. Lakers tonight.

Anonymous said...

Heard about "the book" when I arrived here in 1990s. FINALLY, got the time to read it! It is great satirical stuff and really nails a non-name nowhere school that will go unnamed (he calls it West Central Penn.). Up there with Chris Buckley, _Thank You for Smoking_.

BTW, I know someone who voted against Russo for tenure because his book wasn't "scholarly." Gotta love SIU.

Russo went on to Colby (where the salaries are legendarily high). Then he won a Pulitzer. Well, SIU always brags about being "so good" that other people take our people. (What kind of reaction is that to a brain drain of large proportions? Yup, the USSR probably said the same thing when any of its best could flee to the West! See, comrades, we are so advanced the primitive West deludes our talented brothers and sisters with false promises of opportunity!

j bean