FLOUNCING, FAILURE AND FICTION
Richard Ford is listing his failures. He wanted to be a lawyer in the US Marines. That didn’t work out. He wanted to be “a lawyer, period”. That didn’t work out. He became a writer – that certainly counts as a success for the Pulitzer Prize winner.
Even so, between novels and short story collections he sometimes imagined he was through with fiction. There had to be other jobs he could do, he thought.
But he kept going, he tells Martina Devlin in the City of Books podcast for Dublin UNESCO City of Literature. And that’s been the case for half a century.
Although when he’s between books, he claims to “flounce” around meeting people for lunch, travelling and generally finding reasons not to work.
Today, Ford is the elder statesman of American letters, and notched up a string of awards. But he has strong Irish links, as is readily apparent in his latest work Sorry for Your Trouble. It’s a short story collection with an elegiac tone, shot through with Irish characters and places.
Ford, whose forebears emigrated to the US from Co Cavan, has written eight novels, a memoir about his parents and four short story collections. Books includes Canada and The Sportswriter. In addition, he has shared his insights as writer in residence at Trinity College Dublin.
Sorry For Your Trouble is published by Bloomsbury.