In the interest of making sure that friend of all litbloggers and former Southern writer Richard Ford knows that we can all keep up with his whereabouts from our basement in Terre Haute, I thought I would pass along the news that Mr. Ford will be teaching how to write tedious prose overseas at Trinity College, Dublin. The map on my basement wall has been marked with a purple thumbtack. I'm sure his charm and wit will be appreciated in Ireland:
He has been conducting masterclasses on fiction with this year's students and launched their anthology Sixteen After Ten in the college last night. He will return to the Oscar Wilde Centre in the autumn and his arrangement with Trinity is due to continue for three years, during which he will also give a number of public readings.
Ford's best-known works include The Sportswriter, which established his reputation in 1986, and its sequel, Independence Day, proclaimed by some critics as a modern masterpiece and which won both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner award.
His latest novel in the cycle featuring the life of his American everyman Frank Bascombe, The Lay of the Land, was published to much acclaim in 2006.
His others books include: Women with Men, Rock Springs, Wildlife and A Piece of My Heart.
Ford, who was born in Mississippi, has edited several short story anthologies, including last year's New Granta Book of the American Short Story.
Welcoming the appointment, the head of the School of English, Dr Stephen Matterson, said the college was delighted to be associated with such a major figure in contemporary literature. "Richard Ford is a perfect fit with the school and college's international profile and with our longstanding commitment to the development of critical and creative writing," he said.