Friday, June 29, 2012

Richard Ford

Richard Ford's new novel is Canada.

From his Q & A with Tim Adams at the Guardian:

In the book, Canada becomes a sort of promised land, a refuge. There is a line characters cling to: "Canada was better than America and everyone knew that - except Americans." Is that how it feels to you?

I never had much conceptual idea of Canada being better. But whenever I go there, I feel this fierce sense of American exigence just relent. America beats on you so hard the whole time. You are constantly being pummelled by other people's rights and their sense of patriotism. So the American's experience of going to Canada, or at least my experience, is that you throw all that clamour off. Which is a relief sometimes.

How does that sentiment go down among American readers?

Last night, I was in New Orleans at this book party full of local oligarchs, a charity group. I was trying to tell them why I called the book Canada, and I said this stuff about America beating on you and I saw a lot of unfriendly faces in the room. There is this very strong "If you are not for us, you are against us" feeling in America just now. Perhaps there always has been. You are not allowed to complain. Or even have a dialogue. But if a novel is there for anything I believe that is what it has to induce.

I was intrigued by something in your acknowledgements, a thank you to your doctor, Jeffrey Karnes, for solving "the novelist's dilemma". Can you explain?

Jeff is the guy I go to for check-ups every year. When I was trying to finish the book I was due to see him but...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue