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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Writing the most important things

“Happiness for me is getting to write about the most important things I know.” – Richard Ford

Ford, novelist and short story writer born on this date in 1944, is best-known for his 4-cycle series The Sportswriter, Independence Day, The Lay of the Land, and Let Me Be Frank with You.  Each book follows a portion of the life of Frank Bascombe, who moves through early middle age towards his later years.

Book two, Independence Day, achieved even more accolades.  Independence Day won both the Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner in 1995, becoming the first novel ever to win both awards in a single year.  The third book, The Lay of the Land, was nominated for a 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award; and the fourth, Let Me Be Frank With You, was a 2015 Pulitzer finalist.

Also an award winner for his short stories, Ford has described his sense of language as "a source of pleasure in itself.”  He says valuing language is a key to good writing and balks at being compared to other great writers.                                            
"You can't write ... on the strength of influence,” he said. “You can only write a good story or a good novel by yourself.”
“My job is to have empathy and curiosity for things that I've never done. Also, I'm a person whom people talk to.”

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