…the introduction to The New Granta Book of the American Short Story. Richard Ford wrote it, and it’s got to be the most verbose, over-written, fandangled load of pretentious nonsense I have read in a long time. Ford might be ‘among the very finest of American novelists and story writers’, but the Granta team made a mistake in thinking he could write a decent introduction. In twenty pages, he merely repeats in a variety of uninspiring ways what he wrote in the first paragraph. Such a shame: it’s almost put me off reading the stories that follow.