Each April, The Paris Review’s Spring Revel is an occasion for literary celebration. Over the course of the evening, several prizes are bestowed; the most august is the Hadada, the magazine’s lifetime achievement award. This year, the Paris Review board of directors’ editorial committee has selected Richard Ford to receive the Hadada. The award will be presented by Bruce Springsteen.
The Hadada will be the latest of many accolades for Ford. His fourth novel, Independence Day (1995), was the first book to win both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Also in 1995, he was honored with the Rea Award for the Short Story; in 2019, he was recognized with the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. Ford’s celebrated novels include The Sportswriter (1986), which introduced readers to the unforgettable Frank Bascombe; Wildlife (1990), which was adapted into an acclaimed film in 2018; and Canada (2012). Ford is also a prolific author of short stories, with collections spanning 1987’s Rock Springs to the forthcoming Sorry for Your Trouble. A memoir, Between Them: Remembering My Parents, was published in 2017. His writing has been commended for its “linguistic mastery … rivaled by few, if any” and for the “terse poetry” he brings to his prose.
Ford’s ties to The Paris Review date back to 1975, when the story “Shooting the Rest Area” appeared in issue no. 62. Forty-four years later, his short fiction appeared again in the magazine; the artful story “Nothing to Declare” was published in issue no. 229. In 1996, he was interviewed for the Review’s Writers at Work series. His description then of “the exhilaration of writing” remains a powerful encapsulation of the purpose and magic of fiction: “The chance to make something new, which might be good and beautiful, and which somebody else could use… Put more succinctly, to write for readers.” We are delighted to have Bruce Springsteen, another American icon who once described Ford’s work as “poignant and hilarious,” present the Hadada.
The Hadada has been awarded since 2003, when the Review gave the inaugural prize to the legendary publisher Barney Rosset. Since then, literary greats such as Joan Didion, John Ashbery, Lydia Davis, Robert Silvers, and Paula Fox have received the honor. Last year, The Paris Review presented the award to the singular story writer Deborah Eisenberg.
At the Revel, glasses are raised and memories made. Buy a ticket today to join The Paris Review in April in honoring Richard Ford and sixty-seven years of this leading literary quarterly.