From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sportswriter comes a deeply personal account of his parents – an intimate portrait of American mid-twentieth century life, and a celebration of family love
Richard Ford's parents volunteered little about their early lives – and he rarely asked. Later, he pieced their stories together from anecdote, history and the occasional photograph, frozen moments linking him to another time.
Edna Akin, a dark-eyed Arkansas beauty whose convent education was cut short by her itinerant parents, fell in love aged only seventeen. Parker Ford was a tall country boy with a warm, hesitant smile, who was working at a grocery in Hot Springs. They married and began a life on the road in the American South, as Parker followed his travelling salesman's job. The 1930s were like one long weekend, a swirl of miles traversed, cocktails drunk and hotel rooms vacated: New Orleans, Memphis, Texarkana. Then a single, late child was born, changing everything.
In this book, Richard Ford evokes a vivid panorama of mid-twentieth century America, and an intimate portrait of family life. Exploring children's changing perception of their parents, he also reflects on the impact of loss and devotion. Written with the intelligence, precision and humanity for which Ford is renowned, Between Them is both a son's great act of love and a redeeming meditation on family.
About the Author
Richard Ford was born in Jackson, Mississippi. He has published eight novels and four collections of stories, including The Sportswriter, Independence Day, The Lay of the Land and the New York Times bestseller, Canada. Independence Day was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the first time the same book had won both prizes. Let Me Be Frank with You was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize in 2015. His work has been translated into twenty-eight languages, and most recently was awarded the Prix Femina Étranger in France and the Princess of Asturias Prize for Literature in Spain. Richard Ford lives in Maine with his wife.
An extraordinary piece of writing ... The act of writing those loves, has been if anything, Ford suggests, less poignant for him than a "source of immense exhilaration". His readers, those with parents, and those without them, will feel that too Observer Full of gentle humour and a sense of lives lived well ... His great affection for his parents is everywhere evident ... In this superbly written account, Ford pieces together fragments of their lives, and brings them wonderfully to life Sunday Times The US novelist and short story writer offers a touching recollection that is also a vivid portrait of mid-20th-century American life Guardian One of America's most gifted human anthropologists ... Their manners and affections, pleasures and frustrations take on weight through unsentimental but tender renderings ... So what are we left with in the end ...through ellipses, expressions of love, and the very fact of his biographical endeavour, is a testament to the art of writing Big Issue in Scotland Through anecdotes and the odd photograph, he builds a portrait of mid-century America -- Cultural calendar for the months ahead Daily Telegraph Stylish, elegiac and funny ... A marvellous writer -- John Banville The enjoyment of reading Richard Ford is about the exquisite pleasure of acquisition of language ... The harder you look, the sadder and funnier it gets Observer Ford is possessed of a writer's greatest gifts ... Pure vocal grace, quiet humor, precise and calm observation ... Ford's language is of the cracked, open spaces and their corresponding places within -- Lorrie Moore A true master of the modern American novel Independent A richly textured, rolling and poetic voice The Times What is depicted is exactly what is seen, a peculiar miracle of transcription and feeling ... The superb sense of life, of observation and feeling, enacted on every page -- Philip Hensher Ford makes you ponder so deeply the way that none of us can fathom life's inherent strangeness -- Douglas Kennedy In the much anticipated memoir, the author of The Sportswriter pays tribute to his parents Irish Times 'Books to Look Out for in 2017' The writer Richard Ford's great talent is capturing American lives of a kind of quiet desperation ... He is a master at the comedy and tragedies of family life ... Heartfelt, evocative, but evasive portrait of his mother and father Independent
Number Of Pages: 112
Published: 4th May 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 20.1 x 13.6 x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.25
Edition Number: 1