Russell Banks, Novelist Steeped in the Working Class, Dies at 82
He brought his own sometimes painful blue-collar experiences to bear in acclaimed stories exploring issues of race, class and power in American life.
A couple books of his I’d recommend:
Rule of the Bone
When we first meet him, Chappie is a punked-out teenager living with his mother and abusive stepfather in an upstate New York trailer park. During this time, he slips into drugs and petty crime. Rejected by his parents, out of school and in trouble with the police, he claims for himself a new identity as a permanent outsider; he gets a crossed-bones tattoo on his arm, and takes the name “Bone.”
The Sweet Hereafter
In The Sweet Hereafter, Russell Banks tells a story that begins with a school bus accident. Using four different narrators, Banks creates a small-town morality play that addresses one of life’s most agonizing questions: when the worst thing happens, who do you blame?
The Sweet Hereafter was made into a movie, which I also thought was great, check out it’s IMDB page.