March 8, 2017

Author Richard Ford Reading At People & Stories Benefit

Richard Ford, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Independence Day, Rock Springs, and Canada, will read from his work at the People & Stories/Gente y Cuentos annual spring benefit at the Princeton Nassau Club at 7:30 p.m. on March 24. Proceeds will support People & Stories/Gente y Cuentos, a reading and discussion program offered in English or Spanish for adults and young adults who have had limited opportunities to experience the transformative power of great and enduring literature.

Mr. Ford has been called “a born storyteller with an inimitable lyric voice” by Joyce Carol Oates; “one of our finest writers” by Andre Dubus III; and “one of his generation’s most eloquent voices” by the New York Times’ Michiko Kakutani. He was born in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1944. But it was in New Jersey, in the early 1980s, that Frank Bascombe was conceived. Mr. Ford was teaching at Princeton University, and endeavored — prompted by his wife — to imagine a happy protagonist. It was this project, and this setting, that gave rise to The Sportswriter, the first of four Frank Bascombe books. Mr. Ford once called the book “a paean to New Jersey.” Independence Day and The Lay of the Land followed. According to Bonnie Lyons in The Paris Review, “In Frank Bascombe, Mr. Ford has created one of the most complex and memorable characters of our time.”

After visiting the Shore towns in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Mr. Ford wrote Let Me Be Frank with You, published in 2014. “The event has a consequence which hasn’t yet been expressed or imagined,” he said, “and I can write that consequence and make it clear and important to a reader.” In Bruce Springsteen’s estimation, Ford, “besides being poignant and hilarious, nails the Jersey Shore perfectly.”

For this reading Ford returns to the place that inspired the Frank Bascombe book series, the model for the fictional town of Haddam, in which The Sportswriter and Independence Day are set.

For reservations, contact Pat Andres at (609) 882-4864 or Ticket prices start at $100, with dessert reception included. Sponsors join the author for dinner before the reading for $250. Additional sponsorship opportunities and benefits are also available. For more information, visit