Richard Ford: Zwischen ihnen (2017)

Zwischen ihnen

Richard Ford erzählt vom Amerika seiner Eltern: ein bewegendes Buch über Erinnerung, Familie und ein Land, das es so nicht mehr gibt.

Mit siebzehn verliebt sich Edna Akin aus Arkansas in Parker Ford, einen Jungen vom Land mit den durchscheinend hellblauen Ford-Augen. Sie heiraten und beginnen ein Nomadenleben in den Südstaaten der USA – Parker arbeitet als Handlungsreisender. Die 30er Jahre ziehen vorbei wie ein langes Wochenende, ungezählte Meilen,

Cocktails, Hotelzimmer: New Orleans, Texarcana, Memphis. Die Geborgenheit, die es in ihrer Welt, dem Amerika der frühen Ford-Romane, nicht gibt, finden sie beieinander. Dann kommt ein einziges spätes Kind zur Welt – und alles ändert sich. „Zwischen ihnen“ ist Richard Fords intimstes Buch: ein literarisches Memoir über seine Eltern und ein atmosphärisches Porträt des Lebens in den USA Mitte des 20. Jahrhunderts.

Hardcover, 143 pages
Published 2017 by Hanser
Original Title Between Them: Remembering My Parents
ISBN13 9783446256804
Edition Language German
Literary Awards
Gordon Burn Prize Nominee for Longlist (2017)

ZEIT Mutmaßungen über Vater und Mutter, Anrührend, aber unpathetisch: Der Schriftsteller Richard Ford erinnert sich in „Zwischen ihnen“ an seine Eltern. Das Buch ist eine Reise in eine versunkene Epoche. Von Klaus Nüchtern 30. August 2017

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1 Kommentar

  1. Julie
    Jan 01, 2018
    Julie rated it it was amazing · review of another edition
    Shelves: artists-writers, biographies
    Most of us will be forgotten in three generations. All our stories and what made us who we are, in most cases even our very names, won’t be on anyone’s lips or minds.

    Ford’s memoir of his parents serves as an example of what we should all try to leave behind for future generations.

    Published decades after both Ford’s parents died, and now in his 70s, it focuses on memories of his parents. His father, a traveling salesman, he lost a few days after his 16th birthday in 1960. He got two decades more with his mother who died in 1981.

    This is a wonderfully written memoir. It was a pleasure to read and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

    I’ve recommended specifically to my mom that she read this memoir because of the parallels in her own life. My mom lost her father as a teenager too in 1961, while her mother lived to be almost 100. Her childhood, as was Ford’s, was shadowed by World War II. But like Ford, neither of their fathers served. My grandfather was too young for World War I and too old for World War II. Both went by the name Carroll.

    Like Ford’s parents, my grandparents waited at least a decade before having a child. There was this whole other life before Ford and my mother’s sister came into the world. It’s normal for people to wait and have their first child into their thirties today, but it wasn’t the norm back then. Both my grandparents and Ford’s parents were dynamic duos that were fine and having fun without children.

    Ford, as my mother, felt the loss of never having had a conversation as an adult with their fathers.

    As Ford, both my mother’s parents suffered the loss of a parent at a young age. My Norwegian grandfather lost his father in a coal-mining accident when he was around 19 years old. My Irish-Scottish grandmother lost her mother from an appendicitis when she was three. Both of my grandparents were the youngest. My grandmother had two older sisters and my grandfather was lucky 13 in a brood of mostly sisters.

    What I share here aren’t much more than stats. What Ford does is to share as best he can who his parents were even though he knows it’s hard being that even the people that are still here are hard to pen down. What he does is share his memories and family stories as well as trying to fill in some holes. He also makes some guesses while admitting that he’ll never really know for sure.

    Ford reminds us that it’s valuable to think about the people that came before us. It’s even more valuable to put memories to paper.

    My niece is twelve and while she isn’t much interested in her family’s history now, she will be someday. I’m going to make sure she has the story of her father’s side of the family. I’m hoping her mother will leave behind her side too.

    If I don’t write it down for her, so many gems will be lost. We stand on the shoulders of those that came before – to not know who they were is a travesty.

    My niece’s middle names are her two maternal great grandmothers. One of which I took care of her last year. I interviewed my grandmother that last year. While her short memory was a bit lax, her memories from decades before were in tact.

    I know a lot of the family stories, but most of them aren’t written down. I’m making sure to start now. My family is a rich source of writing material – I’ve always known that. But I’ve always thought of it as a treasure trove for fiction, which it is, but to leave an honest account for someone a hundred years from now in the family to read seems important too. To look at a family tree of names and years and places is one thing, but to have direct quotes and specific story’s is quite another.

    My mom is the keeper of all the family stories from her side. I need to get them all down from her before it’s too late.

    You probably need to do the same

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