26 February 1943|
Kamina, Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo
|Occupation||Short story writer, novelist, poet, photographer|
Albert Russo (born 26 February 1943) is a Belgian bilingual (English and French) author of novels, short stories, essays and poems, as well as a photographer. His main themes are fighting racism of all stripes, and defending individual and collective rights, including ethnic, religious and gender rights.
Early life and education
Son of an Italian Sephardic father, born in Rhodes, and of a British mother who grew up in Rhodesia, he lived with his family in Congo, Ruanda-Urundi, Rhodesia and traveled to South Africa during 17 years. After graduating from high school in Bujumbura, at the Athénée Interracial, learning four languages, French, English, Dutch and German, with a knowledge of vernacular Swahili, he pursues his studies at New York University, getting a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, in 1964, minoring in psychology and economics. This is when he started writing his poems in English. In 1965 he spent a year in Heidelberg and obtained a degree in German culture and literature at Collegium Palatinum. That same year he settled in Milan (Italy) where he continued to write while working with his father in the family import-export firm.
His first novel, La Pointe du Diable, written in French, and dealing with apartheid, is published in Brussels, (Belgium) in 1973 and the following year he wins both the Prix Colette in Cannes (France) and the Prix de la Liberté in Paris. In 1975 he goes back to New York where he teaches languages to adults, meanwhile he pursues his writing mainly in English and publishes poems and short stories, contributing, both as writer and translator to various magazines, such as Confrontation, The Literary Review, The Poet, Atlas World Review, and Philadelphia Poets. He also translates film scripts for children's documentaries at UNICEF. In 1978 he went back to Europe and decided to live in Paris.
Translated in a dozen languages, Albert Russo has written more than 25 works, including novels, books of short stories and of poetry. Africa is one of his major themes. Mixed Blood (published first by Domhan Books in New York, then by Imago Press in Arizona) garnered the Best Fiction Award in 1985 by Volcano Review in California. Both Mixed Blood and Eclipse over lake Tanganyika were nominated for the 2001 e-books award at the Frankfurt International Book Fair. Among his other novels are Le Cap des Illusions (formerly entitled La Pointe du Diable) republished by Editions du Griot in Paris, France, his humorous Zapinette series (in both English and French), his large volume of short stories, fables and essays The Crowded World of Solitude, vol 1, started in New York in the late 1970s, as well as the bilingual books of poetry Futureyes, and the large volume of poems (40 years of writing) The Crowded World of Solitude, vol 2. He has also produced about 50 books of photography with and without poetic captions.
All his works, along with some manuscripts and literary letters by various authors, are to be found at the Archives and Museum of Belgian Literature in Brussels (Belgium). Mixed Blood has been the subject of the Capes degree at the Sorbonne University in Paris in the English department of literature. The Zapinette Vidéo series was also taught at the Catholic University of Paris to foreign students.
During the 1980s, having in common their Congolese experience, their love of and their interest for Africa, he befriends the Italian artist and philosopher Joseph Pace, founder in Paris of Filtranisme, a neo-existential philosophical and artistic current. In the 2000s he also befriended the poet, artist and photographer Adam Donaldson Powell, with whom he authored in 2009 Gaytude, a volume of poetry encompassing the gay experience on the five continents with photography by Albert Russo.
As a photographer he has garnered several prizes in the US, especially from National Indie-Excellence (winner and finalist), photo pursuit (formerly photo challenge), Gallery Photografica (silver medal). Some of his photos have been exhibited at the Musée de l'Elysée in Lausanne (Switzerland).
In 1996 he is a juror at the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, which often leads to the Nobel Prize for Literature. Some of the Neustadt canditates, laureates or jurors having obtained the Nobel Prize are: Elias Canetti, Wole Soyinka, José Saramago, Nadine Gordimer, Eugenio Montale, Claude Simon.
Albert Russo has had seven books translated into Italian, L'Amante di mio padre (2001), Sangue Misto (2008), Shalom Tower Syndrome (2008), Sotto il Picco de Diavolo (2012), Io, Hans, figlio di nazisti (2013) and Zapinette a Parigi (2013).
Novels (in English)
- Eclipse over Lake Tanganyika, Domhan Books, USA, 2000, then Imago Press, 2007
- Mixed Blood, Domhan Books, USA, 2000, then Imago Press, USA, 2007
- Shalom Tower Syndrome, Xlibris, USA, 2007, then Paraguas, 2010
- Zany Zapinette New York, Domhan Books, USA, 2000
- Oh Zaperetta, Xlibris, USA, 2005
- The Benevolent American in the Heart of Darkness, Xlibris, USA, 2005
- The Black Ancestor, Imago Press, USA, 2009
- Zulu Zapy wins the Rainbow Nation, Cyberwit, India 2010; Poetry Printery, South Africa, 2010
- And there was David-Kanza, Imago Press, USA, 2011
- Gosh Zapinette (4 of the Series of 7 Books), Imago Press, USA 2012
- Mother beloved, Mamica mia Createspace/Amazon, USA 2013
- Ode to Mamica mia, Mother beloved, Createspace/Amazon, USA 2013
Novels (in French)
- Sang Mêlé ou ton fils Léopold, Editions du Griot, Paris, 1990, France Loisirs, Paris, 1991; Ginkgo Éditeur, Paris, 2007
- La pointe du diable, Editions Pierre Deméyère, Bruxelles, 1973
- Le cap des illusions, Editions du Griot, Paris, 1991
- Eclipse sur le lac Tanganica, Le Nouvel Athanor, Paris, 1994
- Zapinette Vidéo, Editions Hors Commerce, Paris, 1996
- L'amant de mon père, Le Nouvel Athanor, Paris, 2000
- Zapinette à New York, Editions Hors Commerce, Paris, 2001
- L'amant de mon père II: Journal romain, Editions Hors Commerce, Paris, 2003
- L’ancêtre noire, Editions Hors Commerce, Paris, 2003
- Exils Africains Ginkgo Editeur, Paris 2010
- Léodine l’Africaine, Editions Ginkgo, Paris, 2011
- Moi, Hans, fils de nazis Ginkgo Editeur, Paris 2013
Poetry books (English and French)
- Futureyes / Dans la nuit bleu-fauve, Le Nouvel Athanor, Paris, 1992
- Painting the Tower of Babel, New Hope International, GB, 1996.
- Poetry and Peanuts, Cherrybite Publications, GB, 1997
- The Crowded World of Solitude, Volume 2, the collected poems, Xlibris, USA, 2005 (40 years of writing)
- Gaytude, a poetic journey around the world, Albert Russo and Adam Donaldson Powell, Xlibris, USA, 2009
- Boundaries of Exile / Conditions of Hope, Albert Russo and Martin Tucker, Confrontation Press (Long Island University, NY), 2009
- Embers under my skin, Imago Press (USA), 2012
Short stories, essays and literary criticism (English and French)
- Venitian Threshold, Bone & Flesh Publications, USA, 1995.
- The Age of the pearl: the collected works of Albert Russo, vol. 1, Domhan Books, USA, 2000
- Unmasking hearts: the collected works of Albert Russo, vol. 2, Domhan Books, USA, 2000
- Beyond the great water: the collected works of Albert Russo, vol. 3, Domhan Books, USA, 2000
- The Crowded World of Solitude,Volume 1, the collected stories and essays, Xlibris, USA, 2005 (40 years of writing).
- Eclats de malachite, Editions Pierre Deméyère, Brussels, 1971.
- Mosaïque Newyorkaise, Editions de l’Athanor, Parigi, 1975.
- Le Règne du Caméléon, Imago Press (USA), 2012
- Crystals in a shock wave (the works of Albert Russo, spanning 40 years), Blurb Inc., USA, 2012 and CreateSpace, USA, 2012
Photography books (a choice)
- Body glorious, Xlibris, USA, 2006.
- Italia Nostra, Xlibris, USA, 2007.
- Norway to Spitzberg, Blurb Inc., USA, 2008
- Senegal Live, Blurb Inc., USA, 2010
- Mermaids of the Baltic Sea, Blurb Inc., USA, 2011
- Seven living Splendors: Venice, Rome, Paris, New York, Tel Aviv, Singapore and Jerusalem, Createspace/Amazon, USA, 2013
- Oriental gems, Blurb Inc., USA, 2012
- Ode to Mamica mia, Mother beloved, Createspace/Amazon, USA, 2013
- Les Nouvelles littéraires, Art, de Philippe Guilhon, p.11, N.2330, 28 May 1972, Paris
- Le Soir, Georges Sion (de l’Académie Royale), p. 34, 3 mai 1972, Brussels
- La Dépêche de Lubumbashi, 26 janvier 1972, Zaïre
- Jeune Afrique, p.64, N.602, 22 juillet 1972, Paris
- Culture Française, p.47, art. de Robert Cornevin, 1973, Paris
- Nice-Matin, l’annonce du Prix Colette, 9 October 1974, Nice
- Les Nouvelles littéraires, p. 14, art. de Robert Cornevin, 8 avril 1974, Paris
- La Libre Belgique, 30 janv. 1974, Bruxelles
- Revue Zaïre, art. de Kanika Mwana Ngombo, p47, N.300, 6 May 1974, Kinshasa
- Tribune Juive, d’Odette Lang, p21, 7 juillet 1974, Paris
- La vie ouvrière, mai/juin 1974, art. de Serge Zeyons, Paris
- L’Afrique littéraire et artistique, art. de J.B., p.60, 1974, Paris
- Bingo, revue africaine, art. de S. Nkamgnia, p62, N.255, avril 1975, Paris
- La Renaissance Le Bessin, art. de J. Fauchon, p6, 14 September 1979, Bayeux, France
- Libération, art. de Michel Cressole, p 23, 6 September 1990, Paris
- L’Express, 10 September 1990, Paris
- Le Figaro Littéraire, art. de Régis St.Gilles 8 oct.1990, Paris
- La Liberté-dimanche, 25 nov.1990, Lausanne, Switrzerland
- Le Matin du Sahara et du Maghreb, 1990, Alger, Algeria
- McNally, Bill. Amelia, Albert Russo’s African Connection, p 52-55, 1991, Bakersfield, California, USA
- Club du Livre France Loisirs / Belgique Loisirs, p 5, N.26, 1992, Brussels and Paris
- Mensuel Littéraire et Poétique, art. de Pierre Halen, p 25, N.203, mai 1992, Brussels
- Antonio Veneziani, L’amante di mio padre, recensione, 2001
- Gianfranco Franchi, Sangue Misto, recensione, Lankelot, 2008
- Gianfranco Franchi, Shalom Tower Sindrome, recensione, Lankelot, 2008
- Leggere Tutti, art. di Silvia Barbarotta, p 50, Roma, N.75, marzo 2013
- Gianfranco Franchi, Lankelot
- Brigitte Gabbai, Magazine des Arts et des Lettres
- World Literature Today, Leslie Shenck, Albert Russo and South Africa
- Poets Printery, Albert Russo
- Archive et Musées de la Littérature
- McNally, Bill. Amelia, Albert Russo's African Connection, p 52-55, 1991, Bakersfield, California, USA
- Letizia Fanari, Equitazione&Ambiente Arte, Joseph Pace Filtranisme, January 2007, Roma
- Books Google, Albert Russo
- L’amante di mio padre
- Stilos Magazine
- Shalom Tower Sindrome
- Art Majeur
- Sotto il picco del diavolo
- Io, Hans, figlio di nazisti