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Thursday, February 16, 2023

Reading sets your writing pace


“Reading is probably what leads most writers to writing.” – Richard Ford

Ford is a novelist and short story writer, best-known for The Sportswriter and its sequels, Independence Day (winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and The PEN/Faulkner Award), The Lay of the Land and Let Me Be Frank with You, a Pulitzer Prize finalist. 

A native Mississippian born on this date in 1944, Ford also wrote the terrific short story collection Rock Springs, which has been widely anthologized.  Mostly set in Montana, it includes some of his most popular stories and cemented his reputation as one of the finest writers of his generation.

Ford struggled with dyslexia in his growing up years and didn’t get seriously interested in reading literature until his college days at Michigan State.  He has stated in interviews that his dyslexia may, however, have helped him as a reader and then in becoming a writer, forcing him to approach books at a slow and thoughtful pace.

He earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from California-Irvine where he was taught by both Oakley Hall and E.L. Doctorow.  He said he owes a tremendous debt to both for helping develop his writing skills.  A fine editor, too, he has been widely sought after to do editing work and has edited many award-winning works. 
He has just released another novel, Be Mine, featuring sportswriter Frank Bascombe.  
 “Happiness for me,” Ford said,  “is getting to write about the most important things I know.”

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