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Mar 20 2014

5 Questions With Richard Ford

Richard Ford

The NC State Bulletin just published an insightful interview with Richard Ford, Pulitzer Prize winner, bestselling novelist, and keynote author at the North Carolina Literary Festival.

An interview teaser:

When Richard Ford was a teenager, he knew what he wanted to be when he grew up: a hotel manager. Ford even went to Michigan State so he could enroll in the university’s highly regarded hotel science program. As it happened, he changed career paths a number of times — schoolteacher, science editor, law school student, ROTC cadet — before he decided to try his hand at writing fiction. He got a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing, tried and failed to get any of his short stories published, and had only modest success with two novels that did find a publisher.

That’s when Ford decided to quit fiction writing and become a sportswriter for Inside Sports magazine. That lasted a year until the magazine folded. He then applied for a job at Sports Illustrated; they didn’t hire him. At that point Ford did the only thing he could think of to do: he wrote a novel about a man who had abandoned a career as a fiction writer to become a sportswriter.

That novel, “The Sportswriter,” went on to become one of Time magazine’s five best books of 1986. His novel “Independence Day,” a sequel to “The Sportswriter,” is the only book to ever win both the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award. Since then he has published a number of critically praised and commercially successful books and story collections, most recently the novel “Canada” (2012). He may not be a hotel manager, but fiction writing seems to suit Richard Ford just fine.”

For Richard Ford’s own words about winning the Pulitzer, sportswriting, and the future of reading, please check out the rest of the interview.

As part of the NC Literary Festival, Ford will be reading on Sunday, April 6th, at 1:15PM in NC State’s Hunt Library. This is a ticketed event, and while tickets are free, they need to be reserved. Tickets are available at Quail Ridge Books & Music or online at go.ncsu.edu/nclitfest-ford.

For more information and a full schedule of events, please visit the Festival website.