Richard Ford's 'The Lay of the Land' Richard Ford's novels are deeply rooted in the suburbs, and his latest, The Lay of the Land is no exception. Ford says he writes about the 'burbs because of what they tell readers about themselves and the America in which they live.

Richard Ford's 'The Lay of the Land'

Richard Ford's 'The Lay of the Land'

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The Lay of the Land is the third in a cycle of Richard Ford's novels which also includes The Sportswriter and Independence Day. Scroll down to read an excerpt from The Lay of the Land. Robert Yager hide caption

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Robert Yager

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Ford Reads from 'The Lay of the Land'

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Richard Ford's novels are deeply rooted in the suburbs, and his latest, The Lay of the Land is no exception.

"I guess I write about the suburbs because we made them, and we live in them in America and the moral address of realistic fiction, for me anyway, is to draw my attention to those things that we do as a way of saying to the reader, 'Pay attention to this, pay attention to that, because these are your acts,'" Ford tells Steve Inskeep.

Ford says he hoped to "shake loose something that we could learn about the suburbs that we didn't know before."

The conventional wisdom is that the suburbs will spell our ruin by paving over the planet, he says.

"But there's something about that that we are drawn to," Ford adds. "And once we realize that we are drawn to this, it might in fact unearth some sense of ourselves for ourselves that would be interesting to us."

The Lay of the Land
By Richard Ford

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The Lay of the Land
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