The Novel and its Discontents
John Banville and Richard Ford
A hopelessly mild, slow-paced, memory-challenged, likely-to-be fussy back 'n forth between two 'contemporary' literary dinosaurs, poised here on the brink of extinction.
John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945, the youngest of three siblings. He was educated at Christian Brothers schools and St Peter’s College, Wexford. After college John worked as a clerk for Ireland’s national airline, Aer Lingus, before joining The Irish Press as a sub-editor in 1969. Continuing with journalism for over thirty years, John was Literary Editor at The Irish Times from 1988 to 1999. John’s first book, Long Lankin, a collection of short stories and a novella, was published in 1970. His first novel, Nightspawn, came out in 1971, followed by Birchwood (1973), Doctor Copernicus (1976), Kepler (1981), The Newton Letter (1982), Mefisto (1986), The Book of Evidence (1989), Ghosts (1993), Athena (1995), The Untouchable (1997), Eclipse (2000), Shroud (2002), The Sea (2005), The Infinities (2009) and Ancient Light (2012). His non-fiction book, Prague Pictures: Portraits of a City, was published in 2003 as part of Bloomsbury’s ‘The Writer and the City’ series. In 2012, an anthology comprising extracts from John’s fifteen novels to date, together with selections drawn from his dramatic works and various reviews, was published under the title, Possessed of a Past: A John Banville Reader.
Richard Ford is a novelist, story-writer and essayist -- in addition to being a professor in the Columbia Creative Writing Program. He is the author of seven novels and four (soon-to-be five) collections of stories, plus a memoir. His work has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the Carnegie Gold Medal for Fiction, the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, the Prix Femina in France, the Princess of Asturias Prize in Spain, and is translated into thirty-five languages.