Between Them: Remembering my parents
Bloomsbury, $18.99 hb, 179 pp, 9781408884690
'Our parents intimately link us, closeted as we are in our lives, to a thing we’re not, forging a joined separateness and a useful mystery, so that even together with them we are also alone,’ writes Richard Ford early in ‘My Mother, In Memory’, the first of the two memoirs that comprise Between Them, the Pulitzer Prize winner’s bewitching first book-length work of non-fiction.
Born fifteen years into his parents’ marriage, Ford was both a late and an only child. This instilled in him what he deems the ‘luxury’ of being able to ponder what came before, namely, as he writes, ‘the parents’ long life you had no part in’. In these recollections of Edna and Parker Ford’s lives as a couple and as parents, Ford consigns to the page a lifetime of such speculation. Over the years, he writes, ‘I’ve written down memories, disguised salient events into novels, told stories again and again to keep them within my reach.’ Now, Ford writes of his parents’ lives as a seasoned and master storyteller. Here we find a different side of the acclaimed novelist, one who delves into the mysteries of his family’s past.