Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Signed Encounters of the Firsts Kinds: Richard Ford in NYC May 22,2012

Richard Ford read from and signed his new novel Canada (Ecco, 2012) last night at the Union Square Barnes & Noble in New York City. Ford is probably my favorite American novelist, and the large crowd and corporate bookstore setting made me anxious that the meeting of my literary hero would be spoiled by the B&N setting. But despite rather frustratingly strict signing limits (only two old titles for every one new purchased book), Ford's magnominity and charm made the event enjoyably memorable. He was funny, accommodating and warm during the talk, and his reading (starting from the beginning of the book) was engaging.

A few interesting notes came out of the Q&A. Ford thanked Barnes and Noble for being the only bookstore in the town he lives in. He keeps a notebook and in it, he continues to make Frank Bascome notes even though he has no plans to revisit the character (he is fairly certain he won't write another Bascome novel). Ford reads the entire drafts of his novels to his wife during his writing editing process.

Ford signed on the half title page because of the graphics on the title. This is his authentic signature (10). Here are a few more examples of signatures from last night.

The first trade edition of the prize winning Independence Day (10).

The true first of The Sportswriter was a paperback original. Above is the book signed last night (authenticity 10).

Just for the sake of comparison, here is a copy of the US first printing of the last installment of the Frank Bascome from 2006 (the Canadian edition is the true first). It was purchased new from an independent bookstore so I am confident of its authenticity though I can't be 100% certain since I didn't see him do it of course, so I rate it a 9.

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