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Richard Ford United States of America    PWF 1994

Richard Ford

Richard Ford was born on February 16, 1944 in Jackson, Mississippi. He received a B.A. from Michigan State University and briefly attended law school before dropping out and entering the creative writing program at the University of California, Irvine. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree there in 1970 and published his first novel, A Piece of My Heart, in 1976.

After unsuccessful sales for his first two novels, he turned his focus toward sports magazine writing. His company folder shortly after, however, and so he resumed fiction writing with his novel The Sportswriter, a semi-autobiographical tale. The book was hugely successful; it catapulted him to national fame and was the first step toward cementing his status as one of the greatest American writers of his generation. Ford received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award for the sequel to The Sportswriter, Independence Day, in 1995.

Ford is closely associated with the aesthetic movement known as Dirty realism.

His other work includes Canada (2012) – the followup to 2006’s Lay of the Land –, Let Me Be Frank With You (2014) and a memoir Between Them: Remembering My Parents (2017).