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I have not heard her voice in a long, long time

Thomas Powers: Edna and Parker Ford, 5 October 2017

Between Them 
by Richard Ford.
Bloomsbury, 175 pp., £12.99, May 2017, 978 0 06 266188 3
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... disappears when you look inward. The chaos within is one of the major themes in the fiction of Richard Ford. What engages him is the churning of the conscious self, as changeable as the weather on an iffy day. What kind of a day is such a day? Soft or threatening? What kind of people were Ford’s mother and ...

Most losers are self-made men

Theo Tait: Richard Ford, 5 July 2012

Canada 
by Richard Ford.
Bloomsbury, 420 pp., £18.99, June 2012, 978 0 7475 9860 2
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... The first two sentences of Richard Ford’s seventh novel have the ring of permanence about them: ‘First, I’ll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later.’ They encapsulate not just Canada’s events, but its mood and style, the balance of sensational goings-on with a ruminative, rueful delivery ...

Zoning Out and In

Christopher Tayler: Richard Ford, 30 November 2006

The Lay of the Land 
by Richard Ford.
Bloomsbury, 485 pp., £17.99, October 2006, 0 7475 8188 6
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... you lose all hope,’ he says, ‘you can always find it again.’ And you sense that both he and Richard Ford would shake their heads if you were to read the novel as the dramatic monologue of a character whose optimism is merely an inversion of Richard Yates-style pessimism or a quality he’s been given to emphasise ...

Realty Meltdown

Geoff Dyer, 24 August 1995

Independence Day 
by Richard Ford.
Harvill, 451 pp., £14.99, July 1995, 1 86046 020 8
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... Richard Ford’s narrator, Frank Bascombe, quit serious writing to become a sports-writer. This was the making of Ford. It wasn’t until he became Bascombe, the sportswriter, that Ford turned himself into a major novelist. At odd moments in The Sportswriter, Frank looks back on his abandoned literary career ...

The Rack, the Rapier, the Ruff and the Fainting Nun

Nicholas Penny: Manet/Velázquez, 10 July 2003

Manet/Velázquez: The French Taste for Spanish Painting 
by Gary Tinterow and Geneviève Lacambre et al.
Yale, 592 pp., £50, March 2003, 0 300 09880 4
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... painters, Velázquez was the only one who, to be fully appreciated, had to be seen in Spain. Richard Ford, in his Handbook for Travellers in Spain, had made the same point two years earlier. He conceded that Murillo was more successful ‘in delineations of female beauty, the ideal, and holy subjects’, but Velázquez’s ‘representation of ...

Anglicana

Peter Campbell, 31 August 1989

A Particular Place 
by Mary Hocking.
Chatto, 216 pp., £12.95, June 1989, 0 7011 3454 2
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The House of Fear, Notes from Down Below 
by Leonora Carrington.
Virago, 216 pp., £10.99, July 1989, 1 85381 048 7
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Painted Lives 
by Max Egremont.
Hamish Hamilton, 205 pp., £11.95, May 1989, 0 241 12706 8
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The Ultimate Good Luck 
by Richard Ford.
Collins Harvill, 201 pp., £11.95, July 1989, 0 00 271853 7
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... wins. But only in such mean backstreets, or in a war or wilderness, can a man become a macho hero. Richard Ford’s Harry Quinn has come to the Mexican city of Oaxaca to buy his ex-lover Rae’s brother Sonny out of jail. Sonny has been found in a hotel room with a lot of cocaine. The dealer he was running for believes Sonny was double-crossing him. The ...

Odd Union

David Cannadine, 20 October 1994

Mrs Jordan’s Profession: The Story of a Great Actress and a Future King 
by Claire Tomalin.
Viking, 415 pp., £18, October 1994, 0 670 84159 5
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... and not long after, she made her first appearance on the stage in Dublin. She was soon taken up by Richard Daly, an unscrupulous theatre-manager, who seduced her, and by whom she bore her first child. By then, she had left for England, and was working for Tate Wilkinson’s Yorkshire theatre company which travelled the northern circuit. Between 1782 and ...

Diary

Sean Wilsey: Going Slow, 17 July 2008

... He had said that he ‘used to live in the Paradise Valley in Montana with my literary friends Richard Ford and Thomas McGuane’. Some weeks later, I met Richard Ford at a wedding, and I asked him about Harris. Ford squinted and said: ‘Don Harris . . . Don Harris ...

Diary

Elaine Showalter: On the Phi Beta Kappa Tour, 10 March 1994

... could go to the pictures with you’), and their shock at discovering Flannery O’Connor and Richard Ford. Unlike some small American colleges which aspire to be the Oxford of the Ozarks, plus royaliste que le roi, Birmingham-Southern has decided to take advantage of its region and its size. The lively young English faculty are experts in the ...

Several Doses of Wendy

Robert Baird: David Means, 11 August 2016

Hystopia 
by David Means.
Faber, 352 pp., £16.99, May 2016, 978 0 571 33011 9
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... not one novel but two. The first is Hystopia, which was published by Faber and blurbed by Richard Ford and is being reviewed right here in front of your very eyes. The second is also called ‘Hystopia’, but this one, as that shift in typography suggests, purports to be a posthumously discovered manuscript by Eugene Allen, a young ...

Who Won’t Be Voting for Trump

Eliot Weinberger: Anyone for Trump?, 20 October 2016

... down. Not good.’ (No one knows how Trump saw this on television.)The Gastronomically Inclined Richard Ford: ‘I’m sure that I could not have dinner alone with Mr Trump in my favourite restaurant in Paris. He’d ruin it.’ (In contrast, if Ford ‘decided to tell President Obama … about ordering the cod at ...

Signs of the Times

Mark Ford, 21 February 2008

... sweating too, trying To recall the serpentine journeys made by adventurers such as Mungo Park And Richard Burton, and the weeping jungles And empty deserts they traversed. Unsheathed, their bone- Handled bush knives whispered Like settling locusts or long- Promised waterfalls. One sticky morning John Hanning Speke awoke on a spur above Lake Tanganyika with a ...

Trips

Graham Coster, 26 July 1990

In Xanadu: A Quest 
by William Dalrymple.
Collins, 314 pp., £14.95, July 1989, 0 00 217948 2
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The Gunpowder Gardens 
by Jason Goodwin.
Chatto, 230 pp., £14.95, March 1990, 0 7011 3620 0
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Silk Roads: The Asian Adventures of André and Clara Malraux 
by Axel Madsen.
Tauris, 299 pp., £14.95, April 1990, 1 85043 209 0
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At Home and Abroad 
by V.S. Pritchett.
Chatto, 332 pp., £14.95, February 1990, 0 7011 3620 0
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Great Plains 
by Ian Frazier.
Faber, 290 pp., £14.99, March 1990, 0 571 14260 5
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... and the occasional nuclear missile silo, part of Frazier’s territory is already familiar as Richard Ford country, the featureless far horizon behind the plangent, spacy tales collected in Rock Springs. Frazier’s deadpan wit is often very nice. Here he speculates on the now-abandoned anti-ballistic missile system command centre at ...

Veering Wildly

Kirsty Gunn: Jayne Anne Phillips, 31 July 2014

Quiet Dell 
by Jayne Anne Phillips.
Cape, 445 pp., £18.99, April 2014, 978 0 224 09935 6
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... of writing from the US that the then editor Bill Buford labelled ‘dirty realism’, taking in Richard Ford, Raymond Carver, Bobbi Ann Mason and so on), has always belonged to her and her alone. ‘For me,’ she has written, this ‘no man’s land, a deeply specific isolation drenched in family stories and secrets, is a huge advantage for a ...

Stifled Truth

Wyatt Mason: Tobias Wolff and fictions of the self, 5 February 2004

Old School 
by Tobias Wolff.
Bloomsbury, 195 pp., £12.99, February 2004, 0 7475 6948 7
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... and brothers’. Most were written by established names, among them Frank Conroy, Stuart Dybeck, Richard Ford, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Stone and Amy Tan. Those writers known partly for formal experimentation whose work Wolff did include (among them Lorrie Moore, Denis Johnson and Mary Robison) did not, in the stories Wolff selected, engage with the ...

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