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Women with Men

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Richard Ford's Independence Day--his sequel to The Sportswriter, and an international bestseller--is the only novel ever to have received both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award. Now, with Women With Men, he reaffirms his mastery of shorter fiction with his first collection since the widely acclaimed Rock Springs, published a decade ago.

The landscape of Women with Men ranges from the northern plains of Montana to the streets of Paris and the suburbs of Chicago, where Mr. Ford's various characters experience the consolations and complications that prevail in matters of passion, romance and love. A seventeen-year-old boy starting adulthood in the shadow of his parents' estrangement, a survivor of three marriages now struggling with cancer, an ostensibly devoted salesman in early middle age, an aspiring writer, a woman scandalously betrayed by her husband--they each of them contend with the vast distances that exist between those who are closest together. Whether alone, long married or newly met, they confront the obscure difference between privacy and intimacy, the fine distinction of pleasing another as opposed to oneself, and a need for reliance that is tempered by fearful vulnerability.

In three long stories, Richard Ford captures men and women at this complex and essential moment of truth--in the course of everyday life, or during a bleak Thanksgiving journey, seismic arguments, Christmas abroad, the sudden disappearance of a child, even a barroom shooting. And with peerless emotional nuance and authority he once again demonstrates, as Elizabeth Hardwick has written, "a talent as strong and varied as American fiction has to offer."

Synopsis:

In his first volume of short fiction since the acclaimed "Rock Springs", Ford creates a portrait gallery of male characters who are as wounded, as rueful, and a touchingly vulnerable as Frank Bascombe, the protagonist of his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "Independence Day".

Synopsis:

"This is Ford's voice at its best.... Nobody now writing looks more like an American classic". — The New York Times Book Review

In his first volume of short fiction since the acclaimed Rock Springs, Richard Ford creates a portrait gallery of male characters who are as wounded, as rueful, and as touchingly vulnerable as Frank Bascombe, the protagonist of his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Independence Day.

Here is the traveling salesman who congratulates himself on his happy marriage even as he probes the defenses of a vulnerable divorcee. Here is the stoic seventeen-year-old who is just beginning to apprehend the chaotic undercurrents of his parents' lives. Here is an aspiring novelist, stranded in a foreign country with a lover who may need him far more than she lets on. Passionate and ironic, written with an economy of words and vast reserves of feeling, Women with Men creates a poetry of American manhood in the traditions of Hemingway, O'Hara, and Sam Shepard.

"Breathtaking.... Women with Men is sumptuous and quietly realized, and it's signature Ford". — Boston Globe

"One of America's most accomplished practitioners of the art of the story". — Newsday

About the Author

Richard Ford was born in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1944, and grew up there and in Little Rock, Arkansas. He graduated from Michigan State University and received an M.F.A. in 1970 from the University of California at Irvine. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, and the 1994 Rea Award, which is given annually to a writer who has made a contribution to the short story as an art form. Independence Day was the first book to receive both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award. Ford lives in New Orleans with his wife, Kristina.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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OneMansView, December 30, 2010 (view all comments by OneMansView)
More great stuff from Ford (4.25 *s)

It is perhaps odd that two stories set in Paris involving middle-aged American men with marital woes bookend a story set in Montana that follows a journey by seventeen-year-old Larry and his aunt Doris in a winter storm. But there actually is a great deal of commonality in these three stories.

In much of Ford’s work men struggle to understand life, especially the subtleties of relating to women. The author really does not question that men need and like women; however, things often get complicated when more than one woman is included in a man’s life. Ford invariably lets the reader in on the thinking of the male perspective, yet forces such thought to be adjusted when countered by sharp dialog. Even with all of the thinking and talking, full appreciation of situations is not necessarily achieved and disconnects and misunderstandings remain.

Also in Ford’s world, things go wrong or situations are messy: transportation connections go awry; people get lost and are late; it rains or snows and someone gets sick; something is spilled or someone gets dirty; or even unexpected deaths occur.

All of the stories contain aspects of the aforementioned characteristics. The pace of the stories is good, not due to any great amount of action, but more because the introspection, dialog, and insights are well-crafted and entirely relevant to life’s predicaments. Ford is sympathetic towards the characters in these stories, but they are sufficiently flawed as to bring into doubt their ability to overcome their delusions, obsessions, miscalculations, and despair. Also, Ford’s Paris is not the idyllic spot some would suggest. A visit to the glorious Eiffel Tower results in nausea due to the effects of wind. The streets are confusing; tourists overrun facilities; and there is a great deal of indifference exhibited. Overall, these are three brief, though insightful, looks at the human condition.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780679776680
Author:
Ford, Richard
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Author:
Ford Richard
Author:
Ford, Richard
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Man-woman relationships
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Fiction : General
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries
Series Volume:
RP-563
Publication Date:
19980431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.03x5.19x.56 in. .49 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Women with Men New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.00 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group - English 9780679776680 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In his first volume of short fiction since the acclaimed "Rock Springs", Ford creates a portrait gallery of male characters who are as wounded, as rueful, and a touchingly vulnerable as Frank Bascombe, the protagonist of his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "Independence Day".
"Synopsis" by , "This is Ford's voice at its best.... Nobody now writing looks more like an American classic". — The New York Times Book Review

In his first volume of short fiction since the acclaimed Rock Springs, Richard Ford creates a portrait gallery of male characters who are as wounded, as rueful, and as touchingly vulnerable as Frank Bascombe, the protagonist of his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Independence Day.

Here is the traveling salesman who congratulates himself on his happy marriage even as he probes the defenses of a vulnerable divorcee. Here is the stoic seventeen-year-old who is just beginning to apprehend the chaotic undercurrents of his parents' lives. Here is an aspiring novelist, stranded in a foreign country with a lover who may need him far more than she lets on. Passionate and ironic, written with an economy of words and vast reserves of feeling, Women with Men creates a poetry of American manhood in the traditions of Hemingway, O'Hara, and Sam Shepard.

"Breathtaking.... Women with Men is sumptuous and quietly realized, and it's signature Ford". — Boston Globe

"One of America's most accomplished practitioners of the art of the story". — Newsday

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