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'Bridge of Sighs' Captures Life in Small-Town USA

Richard Russo's novel, Bridge of Sighs, is a story about unexceptional people in an unexceptional upstate New York town. But the novel, Maureen Corrigan says, is anything but unexceptional; it's pound-for-pound the best new fiction on shelves today. Russo won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Empire Falls, a story about the relationships between people in a small town in Maine.

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Maureen Corrigan, book critic for NPR's Fresh Air, is The Nicky and Jamie Grant Distinguished Professor of the Practice in Literary Criticism at Georgetown University. She is an associate editor of and contributor to Mystery and Suspense Writers (Scribner) and the winner of the 1999 Edgar Award for Criticism, presented by the Mystery Writers of America. In 2019, Corrigan was awarded the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing by the National Book Critics Circle.