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Novelist Richard Ford to teach at U. of Mississippi

 
The Associated Press
 
January 6, 2011
 
Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist Richard Ford said Wednesday that he
has a theory about why such good literature comes from his native
Mississippi, where he's returning to teach graduate writing classes this
fall.

"I think the state, in the hands and eyes of its writers,
has a lot that needs to be explained. Writers are imaginative
explainers. There's a lot of received wisdom, history, a lot of drama in
the fabric that is Mississippi that could be seen not to make a whole
lot of sense," he said

"For instance when I was born in Jackson,
black Americans and white Americans were not allowed to go to school
together. That kind of absurdity Faulkner dealt with directly and Eudora
Welty did in her way."

The University of Mississippi announced
this week that Ford will serve as senior fiction writer at the school.
He'll teach a graduate fiction seminar in fall 2011 and a graduate class
on form, craft and influence during the spring 2012 semester.

"I'm
hoping to teach them that what they're doing is important and it's
worth their life," Ford said in an interview. "I'm there to be their
colleague and encourage them and try to make them understand that what
they're doing everyday is what writers who become great writers do."

The
Jackson native won the Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for his novel,
"Independence Day." The book also won the PEN/Faulkner Award.

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