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The Granta Book of the American Long Story
(February 2003)
Juke Joint
(December 2002)
A Multitude of Sins: Stories
(February 2002)
Conversations with Richard Ford
(November 2001)
The Granta Book of the American Long Story
(July 1999)
Women with Men: Three Stories
(May 1998)
Women with Men: Three Stories
(June 1997)
The Fights
(December 1996)

Home:  >Browse Listings   >Authors   >Ford, Richard
Richard Ford
Richard Ford

Richard Ford

Richard Ford is a Southern, non-Southern author. Ford was born and grew up in Mississippi, but apart from A Piece of My Heart, his books are not set in the South. Not only does he not write about the South, but in an interview in Harper’s Ford said, “Personally, I don’t think there is such a thing as Southern writing or Southern literature or Southern ethos.”

Ford was born February 16, 1944, in Jackson, Mississippi. He received his B.A. from Michigan State University. After a brief enrollment in law school, Ford turned to writing fiction. He received his MFA from the University of California at Irvine. He has also lived in Montana and New Orleans.

Ford has been a Guggenheim fellow (1977-78), and a two-time National Endowment for the Arts fellow (1979-80, 1985-86). Ford won a PEN/Faulkner citation for fiction award for The Sportswriter in 1987.

The Sportswriter and its sequel, Independence Day, are both set in suburban New Jersey. In a New York Times Book Review interview, Ford said that in these books he “was not trying to write a novel about New Jersey, but a novel about America that was set in New Jersey.” For the latter novel, Ford received both a PEN/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, making him the first writer to win both awards for a single work.

If the regional versus national labelings of these books are not enough to spark debate in classes of American Literature, Fred Hobson, in his book The Southern Writer in the Postmodern World, identifies the Southern imagination at work in Ford’s fiction: “In The Sportswriter, the presumed ex-Southerner has written a book about New Jersey that is very much a book about the South.”

Among the numerous other awards and honors Ford has received are a Guggenheim Fellowship, two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, and the 1994 Rea Award, which is given annually to a writer who has made a contribution to the short story as an art form.

Related Links & Info

For a more detailed profile of Richard Ford, please check out Don Lee’s article about the author for the Fall 1996 issue of Ploughshares, which Ford edited.

Richard Ford on PBS Newshour
After winning the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Independence Day, Richard Ford was interviewed on PBS’s Newshour by Elizabeth Farnsworth. A transcript of that interview is available from the Online Newshour web site.


Fiction: Novels

  • The Ultimate Good Luck. Boston: Houghton-Miflin, 1981.
  • The Sportswriter. New York: Vintage, 1986.
  • A Piece of My Heart. London: Collins Harvill, 1987.
  • Wildlife. Boston: Little, Brown, Co, 1990.
  • Independence Day. London: Harvill Press, 1995.

Fiction: Short Stories

  • Rock Springs. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1987.
  • Women with Men: Three Stories. New York: Knopf, 1997.
  • A Multitude of Sins: Stories. New York: Knopf, 2002.

Dramatic Writings:

  • American Tropical. (Play) Produced at Louisville’s Actors Theater, Louisville, Kentucky, 1983.
  • Bright Angel. (Screenplay; based on Ford’s short stories “Children” and “Great Falls.”) Dir. Michael Fields. Hemdale, 1991.


  • My Mother in Memory. Elmwood, Conn.: Raven Editions, 1988. (Limited edition).

Additional Publications (Anthologies, etc.)

  • Contributor, Fifty Great Years of Esquire Fiction. Ed. L. Rust Hills. Viking, 1983.
  • Introduction, The Pushcart Prize, XIII: Best of the Small Presses. Ed. Bill Henderson. Wainscott, N.Y.: Pushcart Press, 1988.
  • Editor (with Shannon Ravenel), The Best American Short Stories 1990. New York: Houghton-Miflin, 1990.
  • Contributor, Writers on Writing. Ed. Robert Pack and Jay Parini. Hanover: Middlebury College Press, University Press of New England, 1991.
  • Editor, The Granta Book of the American Short Story. London: Granta, 1992.
  • Introduction, Aren’t You Happy for Me? and Other Stories, by Richard Bausch. London: Macmillan, 1995.
  • Introduction, The Fights, by Charles Hoff. Chronicle, 1996.
  • Editor (with Michael Kreyling), Eudora Welty: Complete Novels, by Eudora Welty. New York: Library of America, 1998.
  • Editor (with Michael Kreyling), Eudora Welty: Stories, Essays, and Memoir, by Eudora Welty. New York: Library of America, 1998.
  • Editor, The Granta Book of the American Long Story. Granta Books, 1999.
  • Portraits of America, by William Albert Allard. Foreword by Richard Ford. National Geographic Society, 2001.
  • Conversations with Richard Ford. Edited by Huey Guagliardo. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2001.
  • Introduction, Juke Joint. Photographs by Birney Imes. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2002.


Books and Articles about Richard Ford:

Reviews and Criticism:

  • Ballantyne, Sheila. “A Family Too Close to the Fire.” Rev. of Wildlife. New York Times Book Review (17 June 1990): 3.
  • Bean, Thomas. “Richard Ford and Gatherings from Spain.” The Book Collector 44.1 (Spring 1995): 67-71.
  • Bonetti, Kay. “An Interview with Richard Ford.” The Missouri Review 10.2 (1987): 71-96.
  • Bryan, C.D.B. “Mexican Coke Rap.” Rev. of The Ultimate Good Luck. New York Times Book Review (31 May 1981): 13.
  • Crouse, David. “Resisting Reduction: Closure in Richard Ford’s Rock Springs and Alice Munro’s Friend of My Youth.” Canadian Literature 146 (Autumn 1995): 51-64.
  • Dupuy, Edward. “The Confessions of an Ex-Suicide: Relenting and Recovering in Richard Ford’s The Sportswriter.” Southern Literary Journal 23.1 (Fall 1990): 93-103.
  • Ebert, Roger. Rev. of Bright Angel (film). Chicago Sun Times (28 June 1991).
  • Ford, Harriet L. “The Salamanca of Richard Ford: Notes from the Margaret I. King Library.” The Kentucky Review 3.2 (1982): 93-98.
  • Gornick, Vivian. “Tenderhearted Men: Lonesome, Sad and Blue.” New York Times Book Review (16 September 1990): 1, 32-33.
  • Gorra, Michael. “Evasive Maneuvers.” Rev. of Women with Men. New York Times Book Review (13 July 1997).
  • Hoffman, Alice. “A Wife Named X, a Poodle Named Elvis.” Rev. of The Sportswriter. New York Times Book Review (23 March 1986): 14.
  • Johnson, Charles. “Stuck in the Here and Now.” Rev. of Independence Day. New York Times Book Review (18 June 1995).
  • Kakutani, Michiko. “Books of the Times.” Rev. of The Sportswriter. New York Times (26 February 1986): C21.
  • Kakutani, Michiko. “Books of the Times.” Rev. of Rock Springs. New York Times (16 September 1987): C28.
  • Kakutani, Michiko. “Books of the Times: Afloat in the Turbulence of the American Dream.” Rev. of Independence Day. New York Times (13 June 1995).
  • Lehmann-Haupt, Christopher. “Books of the Times: A Triangle of Mother, Father and Son.” Rev. of Wildlife. New York Times (1 June 1990: C27.
  • Nelli, Sergio. “A proposito di un Richard Ford minore e non.” (In Italian.) Il Lettore di Provincia, Ravenna, Italy; 25.91 (December 1994): 87-90.
  • Riera, Miguel. “Las etiquetas limitan: Entrevista con Richard Ford.” (In Spanish.) Quimera: Revista de Literatura, Barcelona, Spain; 70-71 (November 1987): 64-67.
  • Shelton, Frank W. “Richard Ford (1944- ).” Contemporary Fiction Writers of the South: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook. Eds. Joseph M. Flora and Robert Bain. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1993. 147-55.
  • Trussler, Michael. “‘Famous Times’: Historicity in the Short Fiction of Richard Ford and Raymond Carver.” Wascana Review of Contemporary Poetry and Short Fiction 28.2 (Fall 1994): 35-53.
  • Wideman, John. “Love and Truth: Use with Caution.” Rev. of Rock Springs. New York Times Book Review (20 September 1987): 1.
  • Zacharek, Stephanie. “The Sum of Its Parts.” Rev. of Women with Men. Hungry Mind Review.

Internet Resources

General Author Information:

  • Richard Ford. General information and reviews from The Mississippi Writers and Musicians Project of Starkville High School.

Online Texts and Interviews by Richard Ford:

Publisher Web Sites:

Other Web Sites:

  • Word for Word. Features information about a stage production of Ford’s story “Communist” in the San Francisco Bay area, Summer 1999.

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