James Ley reviews 'Canada' by Richard Ford

Canada

by Richard Ford

Bloomsbury, $29.99 pb, 420 pp, 9781408815168

Richard Ford has earned a place among the most venerable practitioners of a durable brand of American realism. His fiction draws strength from its stolid traditionalism: its faith in the idea that formal conservatism, respectful attention to the lives of ordinary people, and a line-by-line dedication to the craft of writing are the surest paths to literary significance. His aesthetic, broadly speaking, is that of a writer who reveres Anton Chekhov and John Cheever, thinks everything James Joyce wrote after The Dead was a mistake, and believes with Ernest Hemingway that the only eloquence manly enough to deserve respect is a plain-spoken eloquence.

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James Ley

James Ley

James Ley is an essayist and literary critic who lives in Melbourne. A former Editor of Sydney Review of Books, he has been a regular contributor to ABR since 2003.

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