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The Novel and Its Discontents: A Conversation with John Banville and Richard Ford

General Programming

dateSeptember 18, 2019 timeWednesday, 7:30pm EDT location Lenfast Center for the Arts, The Lantern, Columbia University
  • School of the Arts
  • The Writing Program
  • Free and open to the public
  • First come, first seated
  • Registration required. See details.
Headshots of John Banville and Richard Ford

The Novel and its Discontents
John Banville and Richard Ford
A Conversation

Register here.

“Banville and Ford, authors of many novels (The Book of Evidence, Independence Day), winners of many prizes (Booker, Pulitzer, Princess of Asturias, Prix Femina) and decades-long friends, engage in (it's hoped) a spirited, un-theoretical back 'n forth about the supposed pleasures of the text.”

Organized by Sam Lipsyte, Writing.

John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945, the youngest of three siblings. He was educated at Christian Brothers schools and St Peter’s College, Wexford. After college John worked as a clerk for Ireland’s national airline, Aer Lingus, before joining The Irish Press as a sub-editor in 1969. Continuing with journalism for over thirty years, John was Literary Editor at The Irish Times from 1988 to 1999. John’s first book, Long Lankin, a collection of short stories and a novella, was published in 1970. His first novel, Nightspawn, came out in 1971, followed by Birchwood (1973), Doctor Copernicus (1976), Kepler (1981), The Newton Letter (1982), Mefisto (1986), The Book of Evidence (1989), Ghosts (1993), Athena (1995), The Untouchable (1997), Eclipse (2000), Shroud (2002), The Sea (2005), The Infinities (2009) and Ancient Light (2012). His non-fiction book, Prague Pictures: Portraits of a City, was published in 2003 as part of Bloomsbury’s ‘The Writer and the City’ series. In 2012, an anthology comprising extracts from John’s fifteen novels to date, together with selections drawn from his dramatic works and various reviews, was published under the title, Possessed of a Past: A John Banville Reader.

Richard Ford is a novelist, story-writer and essayist -- in addition to being a professor in the Columbia Creative Writing Program. He is the author of seven novels and four (soon-to-be five) collections of stories, plus a memoir. His work has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the Carnegie Gold Medal for Fiction, the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, the Prix Femina in France, the Princess of Asturias Prize in Spain, and is translated into thirty-five languages.