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Office of News and Information
212 Whitehead Hall / 3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-2692
Phone: (410) 516-7160 / Fax (410) 516-5251

November 14, 1996
CONTACT: Leslie Rice

Pulitzer Prize Winner Richard Ford
to Give Pouder Lecture at Hopkins

Richard Ford, winner of the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for his novel, Independence Day, will deliver the G. Harry Pouder Lecture at The Johns Hopkins University's Homewood campus, Friday, Dec. 6 at 8 p.m. in Shriver Hall, 3400 N. Charles St. in Baltimore. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Ford's 1995 witty and powerful novel, Independence Day, won not only this year's Pulitzer Prize but also the prestigious PEN-Faulkner Award for Fiction. He is author of several other critically acclaimed novels, including The Sportswriter, Wildlife, Rock Springs and The Ultimate Good Luck.

Independence Day is set during Fourth of July weekend in Haddam, N.J., a town Ford modeled after Princeton, N.J. Frank Bascombe, the main character of Ford's earlier work, The Sportswriter, is back, this time no longer a sportswriter, but a successful real estate agent struggling to deal with his divorce and a son beginning to get into trouble with the law. In the novel, father and son take a trip where they visit all the major sports museums they can drive to in two days. Bascombe tries to teach his son the essence of independence and to find the vocabulary to tell his son he loves him. The book combines humor with sadness and is made powerful through the voice of Frank Bascombe, a character readers will find easy to relate to as he attempts to cope with his regrets of the past and his reluctance to meet problems head-on.

The Pouder Lectureship honors the late G. Harry Pouder, executive vice president of the Baltimore Association, who died in 1971. A graduate of the Johns Hopkins Evening College (now the School of Continuing Studies), Pouder wrote several plays and was active in the Homewood Playshop, now Theatre Hopkins. Previous Pouder lecturers have included Tom Stoppard, William Styron, John le Carre, Larry McMurtry and Ray Bradbury.

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