Missoula, MT: S.i., 1983. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author's first letter to Salter, written in response to his appreciation of Ford's Esquire essay "The Three Kings: Hemingway, Faulkner, and Fitzgerald" (December 1, 1983). Ford expresses his appreciation of the letter, mentioning "I didn't think I'd done much for the Faulkner-Hemingway-Fitzgerald canon, and in fact my purest pleasure in writing the essay was to say a kind word about my mother, and to try and make some small narrative good out of what seemed like a hit-or-miss college life." He goes on to acknowledge his love of Sherwood Anderson, a mutual influence: "...hist stories were the first ones I read after I woke up -- about age 25. And I admire many, many of them: "Death in the Woods," "I Want to Know Why." It's rare these days even to hear anyone mention his name, and I appreciate your doing it and reminding me of him and the pleasure I had fro those stories." The two kept up their correspondence over the next three decades, with Ford becoming one of the great advocates of Salter's work. In his introduction to the Penguin Classics edition of Light Years, Ford would declare: "It is an article of faith among readers of fiction that James Salter writes American sentences better than anyone writing today." Item #4572
Typed letter on white bond (measuring ca.8.5" x 11"); 30 lines (287 words), and signed "Cordially, Richard Ford" at lower margin. Two old folds from mailing smoothed-out, modest handling and a few creases, with a few faint foxed spots, three tiny spots of correction fluid, and two holograph corrections in Ford's hand.