An Interview with Richard Ford by Lesley Lawson Botez

InterviewsToday Words, Pauses, Noises would like to introduce a new voice to the blog, Lesley Lawson Botez. In a stroke of luck, Lesley had a chance to talk to the Pulitzer Prize winning Richard Ford for Words, Pauses, Noises, which is a great honour indeed. Richard had some very candid answers to her questions about his views on success in the field of writing, and advice for new writers. 

Interview with Pulitzer Prize winner, Richard Ford

By Leslie Lawson Botez

For my first contribution to the Kingston Writers’ blog I was delighted to interview Richard Ford, American novelist and short story writer, winner of both the PEN/Faulkner award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. I met up with him at Geneva’s elegant Société de Lecture, in the Old Town on a golden September afternoon. He was kicking off their conference season with a talk about his latest novel ‘Canada’.

I began by asking him about his view of essays such as Foucault’s, ‘What is an Author?’ and Barthes’, ‘The Death of the Author’.

‘Horses**t. Of course the author isn’t dead. I do not recommend that writers read Foucault and Lacan.’

What is the role of the author?

‘An author tells a story in which he has authorised everything, every single decision. Nothing is unaccounted for. He tries to authorise what the reader thinks as much as he can.’

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?

‘Live with someone you love who thinks what you are doing is a good idea. Read a lot.’

Are there any occupational hazards to being a writer?

‘Poverty.’  Continue reading

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