Richard Ford – reading all his books from 1976 to present

You may or may not remember that back in March of this year I set out to read all the books written by Gail Bowen and talked about it in the blog post, Reading an author’s complete oeuvre – a suggestion.

That proved to be a very enjoyable task I set for myself, and I’m happy to say that I completed reading all of Gail’s Joanne Kilbourn novels and the four Rapid Reads titles on July 15th. It was great not only to revisit my friend’s writing but to see the development in the characters throughout her series – to really get to know those characters – and also to marvel at the craftsmanship that went into the writing of each of these books. Now I am truly ready for the publication of Bowen’s newest book, The Gifted, which is being released next month.

So, when casting around for another favourite author’s complete oeuvre to read, I decided that there was none better than Richard Ford, My Favourite Living Author.

Favourite Living Author is not an honour I bestow lightly, either! The first to hold that position was Graham Greene. Then he died. Second to be appointed was Brian Moore. But then he died, too. So Ford is only the third author to hold this position in my heart, and I do hope he continues to hold it for a very long time. He can only lose it by dying … or by writing something really awful, but I doubt he is capable of doing that.

So I begin at the beginning with Richard Ford’s first novel, A Piece of My Heart, published in 1976. It’s been a long time since I read this and Ford’s other earlier works. Already I can tell that reading these books will be an antidote for any of the bad writing I’ve had the displeasure to read over this past while. You know, the books you pick up in great anticipation only to put down again after having spent far too much valuable time on them, hoping they won’t be the disappointment you suspect they actually will be. Ford’s writing is perfect in every way!

I see that all copies of his books I have on my shelf are signed (except Women Without Men) and I do have the lot of them! And Independence Day is signed: For Susan, with my gratitude, and with the pleasure of meeting you. *Sigh* Major Author Crush here, folks!

I met Richard Ford for the third time in Calgary last Fall when he was at the Calgary Public Library for an on-stage interview with Aritha van Herk to promote his most recent novel, Canada.

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In the meantime, while I’m enjoying visiting with Richard Ford once again, here’s an article for you to read about Richard Ford that ran in today’s Boston Globe.

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One response

  1. I studied creative writing with RIchard Ford at the Bread Loaf conference in 1978 on a grant from Alberta Culture. He was just beginning his rise to stardom and was the perfectly charming Southern gentleman. He got his moxy though from a great Northern education at Michigan and Princeton…and his precision from studying the law. He read and admired an early version of The Healer, which later was published, and even later still, after including much that had been excluded the first time around, will be published by IslandShorts!

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