Russell Claude Smith (born August 2, 1963 in Johannesburg, South Africa) is a Canadian novelist and newspaper columnist. Smith's novels are mostly set in Toronto, where he lives.
Smith grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He attended the Halifax Grammar School and Queen Elizabeth High School, and studied French literature at Queen's University, the University of Poitiers, and the University of Paris III. He has an MA in French from Queen's.
As a freelance reporter and cultural commentator, he has published in the New York Review of Books, Details, Toronto Life, Flare, Now, EnRoute and other journals. He won the William Allen White award for magazine writing in 1995.
Smith writes two weekly columns for The Globe and Mail: one in the Review section, on culture and language, and the other in the Style section, an advice column for men.
He was the host of the CBC radio program on language, And Sometimes Y, for two seasons.
Smith was born with complete complex syndactyly, having inherited the deformity from his father and grandfather; Smith's own son, Hugo, was born with the condition.
His early novels, How Insensitive (1994) and Noise (1998), are satirical and comic portrayals of big-city