Richard Russo was born in Johnstown, New York on July 15, 1949. He received a Bachelor's degree, a Master of Fine Arts degree, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Arizona. He taught at numerous colleges including Southern Illinois University Carbondale and Colby College. He has written numerous books including Mokawk, The Risk Pool, Straight Man, Bridge of Sighs, and That Old Cape Magic, as well as a short story collection, The Whore's Child. His novel Empire Falls won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and Nobody's Fool was made into a movie starring Paul Newman, Bruce Willis and Melanie Griffith. His memoir was entitled Elsewhere. He also co-wrote the 1998 film Twilight with director Robert Benton and the teleplay for the HBO adaptation of Empire Falls.