Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Lay of the Land

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Lay of the Land

by Richard Ford

The Lay of the Land by Richard Ford
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Nov 2006, 496 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2007, 496 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

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 who’s 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 didn’t fall victim to the bad rap.

In the same interview he was asked why he chose to place his latest volume in 2000 but before the outcome of the election is known. Again, he says it was a conscious decision as he felt it would be a recognizable time in the life of most Americans: "A moment that almost begged for a certain type of reflection that no one had done at the time. That it needed to be showcased in essence as a time of a kind of peculiar moral lethargy in the American culture and in the American populace. The consequences of which were at least the Bush Administration and all of the fiascoes that have come about because of the Bush Administration, and out of a sense of cultural, institutional and governmental doze comes disaster."


Will Frank return at age 65?
When asked whether he plans to revisit Frank in another ten years, Ford replies in the negative: "Frank in his sixties and I’m in my sixties and it’s bad enough to be in my sixties but to have to write about Frank in his sixties, I just couldn’t bear that."

However, he doesn't entirely rule out the possibility that he might write about a younger Frank, before the death of his son, but thinks that it's unlikely as "my whole sense of Frank, the only real potent sense I have of him is of a man whose son has died."

This article was originally published in January 2007, and has been updated for the July 2007 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Midwinter Break
    Midwinter Break
    by Bernard MacLaverty
    Northern Ireland's Bernard MacLaverty is the author of five novels and multiple short story ...
  • Book Jacket: The Ninth Hour
    The Ninth Hour
    by Alice McDermott
    In a pivotal scene in The Ninth Hour, young Sally encounters an increasingly loathsome series of ...
  • Book Jacket: Rebellion
    Rebellion
    by Molly Patterson
    Rebellion overlays the stories of four women, spanning a century and the globe in their wide ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

An eye-opening and riveting look at how how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Twelve-Mile Straight
    by Eleanor Henderson

    An audacious epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Love and Other Consolation Prizes
    by Jamie Ford

    Inspired by a true story, about a boy whose life is transformed at Seattle's epic 1909 World's Fair.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win If the Creek Don't Rise

If the Creek Don't Rise

A debut novel bursting with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y Can't M A S P O O A S E

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.