Did Richard Ford set out to create an 'everyman' in his narrator Frank Bascombe? Far from it, the author says - he's always wanted his characters to be individuals, and how a novel turns out is always surprising
Richard Ford writing in The Guardian, Saturday 28 March 2009
"The blue Bic pen glides along the page and surprising things always spill out of it" ... The novelist Richard Ford. Photograph: Murdo Macleod
Over the last 20 years, goodwill-led readers have occasionally asked me if Frank Bascombe - the yearning, sometimes vexatious narrator of my three novels The Sportswriter, Independence Day, and The Lay of the Land - was intended to be an American "everyman". By this I think these readers mean: is Frank at least partly an emblem? Poised there in the final clattering quadrant of the last century, beset with dilemmas and joys, equipped with his suburban New Jersey skill-set and ethical outlook - do Frank's fears, dedications, devillings and amusements stand somewhat for our own?
The Bascombe Novels :
by Richard Ford