Richard Ford (b. 1944) graduated from Michigan State University in 1966 with a degree in English. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1977, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1978, and won the 1994 Rea Award for the Short Story. "Independence day" was the winner of both the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1996. Originally from Mississippi, he now resides with his wife in East Boothbay, Maine. In addition to his novels "Independence day" and "The Sportswriter," (the prequel to "Independence day"), Ford has written "Lay of the land," "A Piece of my heart," "The Ultimate Good Luck," and "Wildlife," as well as numerous short stories which are collected in "Rock Springs" and "Women With Men."