Richard Ford

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Richard Ford in 2013

Richard Ford (born February 16, 1944) is an American novelist and short story writer, best-known for his novel The Sportswriter and its sequels, Independence Day and The Lay of the Land, and the short story collection Rock Springs, which contains several widely anthologized stories.



A Piece of My Heart (1976)

  • Her complexion seemed slowly to be losing its olive color, and the set of her mouth hardened as though interior shifts were taking place she herself didn't know about but which had already corrected her outlook toward the rest of the world.
    • p. 262
  • One day you think you never even made a choice and then you have to make one, even a wrong one, just so you're sure you're still able. And once that's over, you can go back and be happy again with what you were before you started worrying.
    • p. 276
  • Sometimes we do not really become adults until we suffer a good whacking loss, and our lives in a sense catch up with us and wash over us like a wave and everything goes.
    • p. 7
  • I may be too cynical," Catherine says.
If you're worried about it, you probably aren't.
  • "People surprise you, Frank, with just how fuckin stupid they are. I mean, do you actually realize how much adult conversation is spent on this fuckin business? Facts treated like they were opinions just for the simple purpose of talking about it longer? Some people might think that's interesting, bub, but I'll tell you. It's romanticizing a goddamn rock by calling it a mountain range to me. People waste a helluva lot of time they could be putting to useful purposes. This is a game. See it and forget about it."
    • p. 104
  • "Children"
    • this is how you knew what a fool was—someone who didn't know what mattered to him in the long run
      • p. 97
    • But when you are older, nothing you did when you were young matters at all. I know that now, though I didn't know it then. We were simply young.
      • p. 98

Wildlife (1990)

  • In the fall of 1960, when I was sixteen and my father was for a time not working, my mother met a man named Warren Miller and fell in love with him.
    • p. 1
  • "I'm not worried," I said. And I wasn't, because I thought things would be fine. And even though I was wrong, it is still not so bad a way to set your mind toward the unknown just when you are coming into the face of it.
    • p. 17
  • When you are sixteen you do not know what your parents know, or much of what they understand, and less of what's in their hearts. This can save you from becoming an adult too early, save your life from becoming only theirs lived over again - which is a loss. But to shield yourself - as I didn't do - seems to be an even greater error, since what's lost is the truth of your parents' life and what you should think about it, and beyond that, how you should estimate the world you are about to live in.
    • p. 18
  • It's probably nice to know your parents were once not your parents.
    • p. 44
  • "You can get carried away with how things were once, and not how you need to make them better."
    • p. 171
  • And though they may both have felt that something had died between them, something they may not even have been aware or until it was gone and disappeared from their lives forever, they must've felt - both of them - that there was something of themselves, something important, that could not live at all in any other way but by their being together, much as they had been before.
    • p. 176

Quotes about Richard Ford

  • I don't see at all why good fiction has to be global fiction. It's the lot of some writers, who are-because of the accidents of history-forced to be on the move. Then there are the Richard Fords and the Russell Banks who may be writing of small town America, but with great gifts, and great compassion. It's making life important, making a single life important, rather than having to have a prescription for the global ills which afflict us.
    • 1990 interview in Conversations with Bharati Mukherjee Edited by Bradley C. Edwards (2009)
  • I’ve loved all his books, from the characters to the parenthetical sentences. His voice always sounds so casual, as if the narrator is working it out in his head for the first time. There’s quiet intensity, an easy familiarity with the character. You know the habits in how the character thinks, what he might take into account. The narrator is more observational than judgmental, and forgiving in that way. It has much to do with a need to be rewarded for doing more, or compensated for following the rules or recognized as better for working harder. It’s not simple greed. It’s about a sense of self before and after you’ve taken the wrong road to a land of diminishing opportunity.
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