Talking with Authors: Richard Russo, Chances Are…
Grades: 9 - 12

Video Description: Winner of a Pulitzer Prize in Literature, author Richard Russo shares his insights into his writing practices and how his own college experience plays into the opening of his latest novel, “Chances Are…”  The story includes Russo’s trademark wry humor and strong male relationships featuring three 66-year-old men who convene on Martha’s Vineyard one fall weekend, 44 years after meeting in college. An unsolved mystery, as old as their friendship, plays a pivotal role.  The author of seven previous novels; two collections of stories; and Elsewhere, a memoir, Russo received the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Empire Falls, which like Nobody’s Fool was adapted to film, in a multiple-award-winning HBO miniseries.

Type of Video: Interview*
Unique Video ID: Literature-70**

Quick Ideas for Using the Video:

  • Use the video in conjunction with a student activity that has them focusing on character development. What insights from the author can they use as they develop characters in their own stories?
  • Use the video in conjunction with an activity focused on the career aspects of being a writer or provide the video for students interested in publishing their own writing professionally.
  • Use the video in conjunction with a student activity focused on the writing process and/or different elements of writing such as plot and theme. What insights from the author can they use in the activity?


*Interviews feature extended conversation exploring fascinating topics with fascinating people in the area of study.

**The unique Video ID can be used to quickly locate a single video in the ET collection. This search function is designed to let teachers assign students to watch a specific video and have only that video appear as a search result. Just click on Search and choose “By Video ID.” Then type in the Video ID as it appears above. Be sure to include the dash.