Russell Banks (born March 28, 1940) is an American writer of fiction and poetry. He is president of the International Parliament of Writers and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been translated into twenty languages and has received numerous international prizes and awards. His main works include the novels Continental Drift, Rule of the Bone, Cloudsplitter, The Sweet Hereafter, and Affliction. The latter two novels were each made into feature films in 1997; see Affliction (film).
Many of his works reflect his working-class upbringing in New England. His stories often show people facing tragedy and downturns in everyday life, expressing sadness and self-doubt but also showing resilience and strength in the face of their difficulties.
Banks has also written short stories, some of which appear in the collection The Angel on the Roof, as well as poetry. He has written a movie adaptation of Jack Kerouac's On the Road for producer Francis Ford Coppola, which is slated for production in 2006. He lives in upstate New York, and has been named a New York State Author.