Between Them, a memoir from American master Richard Ford, is his first work of nonfiction and a stirring narrative of memory and parental love.
How is it that we come to consider our parents as people with rich and intense lives that include but also exclude us? Richard Ford’s parents—Edna, a feisty, pretty Catholic-school girl with a difficult past; and Parker, a sweet-natured, soft-spoken traveling salesman—were rural Arkansans born at the turn of the twentieth century. Married in 1928, they lived “alone together” on the road, traveling throughout the South. Eventually they had one child, born late, in 1944.
For Ford, the questions of what his parents dreamed of, how they loved each other and loved him become a striking portrait of American life in the mid-century. Between Them is his vivid image of where his life began and where his parents’ lives found their greatest satisfaction.
To facilitate this discussion is Ohio State University writing professor and master of the craft Lee Martin. Author of five novels, including Late One Night and The Bright Forever, a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, Martin has also written three memoirs and a craft book: Telling Stories: The Craft of Narrative and the Writing Life. His second short story collection, The Mutual UFO Network, was published in June. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in top literary and journals, and he is the winner of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council.
OSU's Creative Writing Program is Gramercy's Community Partner for this Book Club discussion.
RICHARD FORD is the featured author for the 2019 Bexley Community Author Series, hosted by Bexley Public Library, and will appear in Bexley on April 23rd. The author of six novels and three collections of stories, writing since the 1970s, Ford is recognized as one of America's greatest living authors. His novel, The Sportswriter, was named by Time Magazine as one of the best 100 books written in English since the magazine's inception. He won the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Prize for his novel Independence Day, the first novel to ever win both prizes, and he was also named a Pulitzer Prize finalist for Let Me Be Frank With You. His most recent book, Between Them, is a beautiful and stirring memoir of his parents.