by Richard Ford
from the August 6 & 13, 2018 issue of The New Yorker
Richard Ford is working on a new novel and a new short story collection. “Displaced” comes from the latter, fortunately, so this is not an excerpt.
It’s been a very long time since I read anything by Richard Ford. The last story he published in The New Yorker was back in 2008, before I was posting on the stories here. I have no read any of the novels he’s published in the last decade. Really, this feels like a blast from the past for me, and not a particularly pleasurable one. There was a time Ford’s name would come up in conversations about The Great American Novelist, an heir to John Updike and Walker Percy, but that conversation feels very outdated, a relic. It doesn’t help that he has been idiotic to some who have publicly suggested his work isn’t that good — sending Alice Hoffman a copy of one of her books with bullet holes in it and then, not long ago, spitting on Colson Whitehead.
Is Ford’s day almost done? I’m so curious to see how folks respond to this story. Does it feel like a relic, or is it fresh and invigorating? Please share your thoughts below.