We first met Richard Ford's "everyman" Frank Bascombe back in 1986 when
Ford published The Sportswriter.
A decade later Frank returned in
, which won both the Pulitzer Prize and the
PEN/Faulkner Award. A further decade later he is back - it's Fall 2000,
the country is in the wake of a presidential election and Frank's contending
with health and family issues. As in the previous two novels, Ford continues his seasonal theme: The Sportswriter
revolved around Easter, resurrecting Frank's
memories of his dead son, broken marriage and failed literary career. The action in
took place over a Fourth of July weekend. Now
55-year-old Frank is facing the Thanksgiving holiday weekend which will deliver
him more punches than he's ever had to absorb before.
Some might ask what the attraction could be in...
Beyond the Book
Did you know?
In a recent interview in the
Cal Literary Review Ford was asked whether he purposefully set out to
portray suburban America in a positive light? To which he replied, "Yes.
Originally, my wife said to me, try to write about somebody whos happy. That
was my first suggestion. After she said that, I began to think about, well,
where could I set a book about somebody who was happy? We were in New Jersey, I
was teaching at Princeton then. I thought, well, nobody writes happy things
about New Jersey. Nobody writes good things about New Jersey at all. And I
thought, well, maybe that would be the thing to do. Write a novel that is
affirming about New Jersey because, certainly it would be unusual. And frankly I
liked New Jersey. I didnt...