Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ford's "Canada"

Another Author Leaves a Long-Time Publisher

Just last month I wrote about Tom Wolfe leaving his long-time publisher, and now Richard Ford has done the same. Ford's situation is similar to Wolfe's as Ford's last novel, "The Lay of the Land" also failed to sell well. When it came to negotiate a new contract, Ford couldn't come to terms with Alfred A. Knopf. Off to Echo he goes.

Within that Times article, Ford's next novel is revealed. A book called "Canada":

a “novel of revenge and violent retribution set on the Saskatchewan prairie, in the early 1960s,” according to Ecco’s statement.

Mr. Halpern added that the book would cover some new territory for Mr. Ford. “It’s an adventure story and it’s about a boy’s coming of age,” said Mr. Halpern, who saw just a brief summary before signing the deal.

If "Canada" is published, Ford will enter into what I guess would be an extremely small group of well known American authors who have set a novel in this country. Beyond that, and the risk Ford would be taking, I also have to guess that a book set in Canada had Knopf worried.

By my glance, there isn't a single Canadian author or novel set in Canada on any of the New York Times best-selling fiction lists. Of course there have been before - surely - but a Canadian setting doesn't scream green in American publishing circles.


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