Sorry for Your Trouble
by Richard Ford
Bloomsbury, $29.99 pb, 255 pp
Richard Ford, born in 1944, is a North American novelist, short story writer, and anthologist of considerable distinction. His recurring character Frank Bascombe – The Sportswriter (1986), Independence Day (1995), The Lay of the Land (2006), Let Me Be Frank with You (2014) – is a commanding figure of American letters to rank with John Updike’s Rabbit Angstrom, each a protagonist used by his creator over several novels as a litmus test of his contemporaries and their not always united states.
Frank Bascombe does not make an appearance in the nine stories that constitute Ford’s latest collection, Sorry for Your Trouble; nor do any of them bear the book’s title. So many focus on deaths that the book might have been titled ‘Sorry for Your Loss’. Since Ford has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the 2019 Library of Congress Award for American Fiction, among countless others, I guess he can call his book whatever he damned well pleases.