For some reason, I get very confused between these four white American male fiction writers named Richard. They are, from left to right, Richard Ford, Richard Powers, Richard Price, and Richard Russo. To break it down: Amongst the books Richard Ford has written are A Piece of My Heart, The Sportswriter, and Independence Day, mainly books about American life in intimate terms, set in the suburban middle class. Richard Powers is more of a dazzler, with intricate and adventurous explorations that match up music and physics or literature and artificial intelligence; his books are Galatea 2.2, The Gold Bug Variations, and The Time of Our Singing. The word "gritty" is more associated with Richard Price who not only has written Clockers, he also wrote the screenplays for Sea of Love and Color of Money, all pieces of work that deal with the seamier side of life on the street, unglorious and messy. Finally, Richard Russo writes about the American perspective usually by way of the everyman, most notably in small blue collar towns, like in Empire Falls or Nobody's Fool, with characters who wonder if this is what life is. Granted, that question is one that is generally asked a number of times in a book, but you know what I mean.
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