When I think of Richard Ford, I think of Raymond Carver and Tobias Wolff. They were of a similar school, popularized in the eighties. But Ford, for me, is a novelist, first and foremost, and a novelist who came alive for me when I read The Sportswriter, the story of a failed novelist, who is divorced from the mother of his deceased child. I loved the story: love how easy it flowed, loved how human Frank Bascombe , the narrator, was, and how it talked about writing and heartbreak. It was a novel that very much had the feel of Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer (even the titles sounds alike). Ford took Frank Bascombe on in two subsequent novels, and won a Pulitzer in fiction along the way. I remember an interview with him where he said his wife encouraged him to write more on Bascombe because he was likeable (or maybe not as depressing as his other characters). Short note on his wife: When Ford writes a book, he and his wife read it–word for word–aloud. Not bad.
Anyway, here‘s a short interview with Ford that you may find interesting. It came out after the Lay of the Land, the final Bascombe book.