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US Writer Russell Banks Dies at 82

Banks “passed away peacefully last night in his home in upstate (New York),”

Russell Banks, a prolific American fiction writer whose work charted the interior lives of marginalized people at odds with social forces, has died at age 82.

Banks “passed away peacefully last night in his home in upstate (New York),” fellow author Joyce Carol Oates said Sunday on Twitter.

His literary agent Ellen Levine said the cause of death was cancer, according to The New York Times.

Banks’s notable works include the novels “Continental Drift,” “Affliction,” “Cloudsplitter” and “The Sweet Hereafter.”

His protagonists were often blue collar, reflecting his own working class upbringing as the son of an alcoholic plumber. His characters struggle with poverty, drug abuse, and class and racial issues.

Two of his novels were Pulitzer Prize finalists, and Banks would go on to win the John Dos Passos Award in 1995 and numerous other accolades.

Two of Banks’s works were made into widely acclaimed films. They were “Affliction” (1997), starring Nick Nolte, about a small-town cop who investigates a hunting death, and “The Sweet Hereafter,” (1997), about the aftermath of a deadly school bus accident in a small town in upstate New York.

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