Picture of author.

David Adams Richards

Teoksen Mercy Among the Children tekijä

35+ teosta 2,121 jäsentä 71 arvostelua 7 Favorited

Tietoja tekijästä

David Adams Richards lives in Toronto with his wife and two sons. Author David Adams Richards was born in Newcastle, New Brunswick, Canada on October 17, 1950. He has received numerous awards for his works including the Canadian Authors Association Award for Evening Show Will Bring Such Peace in näytä lisää 1991, the Canada-Australia Literary Prize in 1992, and the Giller Prize for Mercy Among the Children in 2000. He also won the Governor General's Award in both the fiction and non-fiction categories with Nights below Station Street in 1988 and Lines on the Water in 1998 respectively. He currently lives with his family in Toronto, Canada. (Bowker Author Biography) näytä vähemmän
Image credit: photo credit: Jerry Bauer

Sarjat

Tekijän teokset

Mercy Among the Children (2000) 738 kappaletta
River of the Brokenhearted (2003) 174 kappaletta
Nights below Station Street (1988) 168 kappaletta
The Friends of Meager Fortune (2006) 164 kappaletta
The Bay of Love and Sorrows (1998) 116 kappaletta
The Lost Highway (2007) 110 kappaletta
Blood Ties (New Canadian Library) (1976) 40 kappaletta
Hope in the Desperate Hour (1996) 39 kappaletta
Crimes Against My Brother (2014) 34 kappaletta
The Coming of Winter (1974) 33 kappaletta
Lord Beaverbrook (2008) 27 kappaletta
Hockey Dreams (1996) 26 kappaletta
Principles To Live By (2016) 23 kappaletta
Mary Cyr (2018) 22 kappaletta
Road to the stilt house (1985) 12 kappaletta
Facing the Hunter (2011) 10 kappaletta
Dancers at night: Stories (1978) 7 kappaletta
Darkness (2021) 7 kappaletta
The Tragedy of Eva Mott (2022) 7 kappaletta
Christmas Tree (2006) 4 kappaletta
Murder, and other essays (2019) 3 kappaletta
La Malédiction Henderson (2003) 2 kappaletta
Arch of Triumph 1 kappale
Grzech miłosierdzia (2005) 1 kappale

Associated Works

From Ink Lake: Canadian Stories (1990) — Avustaja — 129 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla

Yleistieto

Kanoninen nimi
Richards, David Adams
Syntymäaika
1950-10-17
Sukupuoli
male
Kansalaisuus
Canada
Syntymäpaikka
Newcastle, New Brunswick, Canada
Asuinpaikat
Newcastle, New Brunswick, Canada (birth)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
Bartibogue, New Brunswick, Canada
Koulutus
St. Thomas University, New Brunswick (B.A.)
Ammatit
writer
author
screenwriter
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
CBA Libris Award (2001)
Canada-Australia Literary Prize, awarded for the excellence of an author's complete body of work (1992)
Alden Nowlan Award for Excellence in the Arts
Writers' Federation of New Brunswick, annual David Adams Richards Award for Fiction
Order of Canada (2010)
Timothy Findley Award (2004) (näytä kaikki 7)
Matt Cohen Prize (2011)
Agentti
Anne McDermid
Lyhyt elämäkerta
David Adams Richards (born October 17, 1950) is a Canadian novelist, essayist, screenwriter and poet.

Born in Newcastle, New Brunswick, Richards left St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick, one course shy of completing a B.A.* Richards has been a writer-in-residence at various universities and colleges across Canada, including the University of New Brunswick.

Richards has received numerous awards including 2 Gemini Awards for scriptwriting for "Small Gifts" and "For Those Who Hunt The Wounded Down", the Alden Nowlan Award for Excellence in the Arts, and the Canadian Authors Association Award for his novel "Evening Snow Will Bring Such Peace." Richards is one of only three writers to have won in both the fiction and non-fiction categories of the Governor General's Award. He won the 1988 fiction award for "Nights Below Station Street" and the 1998 non-fiction award for "Lines on the Water: A Fisherman's Life on the Miramichi." He was also a co-winner of the 2000 Giller Prize for "Mercy Among the Children."

In 1971, he married the former Peggy MacIntyre. They have two sons, John Thomas and Anton Richards, and currently reside in Fredericton.

John Thomas was born in 1989 in Saint John, New Brunswick.

The Writers' Federation of New Brunswick administers an annual David Adams Richards Award for
Fiction.

Richards' papers are currently housed at the University of New Brunswick.

* David Adams Richards was awarded his B.A. by Saint Thomas University in 2009. Source: David Adams Richards' sister Susan Marshall.

Jäseniä

Kirja-arvosteluja

I won’t miss the opportunity to read a new novel by David Adams Richards since I’ve enjoyed so many of his books like Darkness (https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.com/2021/06/review-of-darkness-by-david-adams.html), Mary Cyr (https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.com/2018/05/review-of-mary-cyr-by-david-adams.html), The Lost Highway (https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.com/2017/09/archival-review-lost-highway-by-david.html), and Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul (https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.com/2015/07/from-schatjes-reviews-archive-incidents.html ). This latest one, however, left me less impressed.

Set in the Miramichi region of New Brunswick, the plot focuses on a community where the asbestos mine owned by the Raskin Brothers is the main employer. When reports emerge about the health effects on workers, the brothers want to stop mining asbestos, but the government does not allow them to shut down. Albert, a nephew, who lives on the proceeds of the mine, becomes involved in protests against his uncles. Choices Albert makes as a young man have a devastating impact on him and many others, especially after two criminal brothers, Mel and Shane Stroud, become involved and further complicate matters.

Shortly after I began reading, I decided to make notes on the various characters and their connections to each other. There are many characters and their stories are intertwined so it is important to keep track of their relationships; the backgrounds of these many characters are also significant. The title is appropriate in that Eva Mott is the person whose life is touched by virtually all the other characters.

Eva, however, is not the only person to suffer tragedy. There are many who suffer because they are deprived, oppressed, and exploited. The message seems to be that “suffering is the human condition” so the book is anything but a light read. For instance, there are eight deaths that are the result of murder or criminal negligence. Sexual assault, drug addiction, and blackmail all feature in the narrative. The book includes infidelity, theft, beatings, heartbreak, loneliness, family disintegration, suicide, government ineptitude, environmental degradation, and swindling. The book ends with the promise that the world is filled with love, there is “a fulsome chance at a new life, a new beginning, a new and holy destiny, here as well as in all the world,” and “honour follows virtue like a shadow,” but the number of characters who are loving and virtuous is far outnumbered by those who are motivated by self-interest and manipulate others. And the virtuous seldom receive their just rewards.

In many ways, the book reads like a critique of many groups. Academics are a target: “he had a trait that was widespread among professors: he was petty and jealous.” Politicians are portrayed as hypocrites; the government won’t let the Raskins close the asbestos mine even after reports emerge about the effects of asbestos. Scientists “wore white coats and told white lies.” First Nations people have suffered much for too long, but the author believes there should be less talk about “how much they were owed and how much was taken”; a Mi’kmaq argues his people must “decide their own lives by their own conscience” and says, “’I know you want to protect the land but remember some of us exploit it just as much as others.’” Protestors, whether environmentalists, women’s rights activists, or supporters of First Nations claims, are described as an “ignorant army . . . ready to clash by night.” The author even takes a swipe at his detractors who have dismissed him as “a journeyman writer from New Brunswick . . . [whose writing shows a] backward regionalism.” The author seems angry at everyone.

I wanted to like this book, but it is full of countless tragedies, despair, and darkness. A re-reading would perhaps result in an appreciation of its layers; unfortunately, I cannot see myself re-reading it very soon. It is too depressing, and I need to find something more uplifting after this heartbreaking tale.

Note: Please check out my reader's blog (https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.com/) and follow me on Twitter (@DCYakabuski).
… (lisätietoja)
 
Merkitty asiattomaksi
Schatje | Nov 17, 2022 |
 
Merkitty asiattomaksi
Kgferris | 1 muu arvostelu | Jul 12, 2021 |
A new novel by David Adams Richards always excites me. He is an author whose books I insist on buying in hardcover. Like so many of his previous books, this one enthralled me.

John Delano, at the behest of Cathy MacDurmot, investigates the violent death and accusations of murder made against her brother Orville. As a child, Orville was bullied and shunned because of a physical deformity and his impoverishment, but he eventually became a renowned archeologist. The people living along New Brunswick’s Miramichi River, where he grew up and chose to live after extensive travels, took pride in his accomplishments but also envied him. Some tried to use Orville’s fame to advance causes but he, a man of principles, refused to help those whom he knew were only interested in their own personal gains. His behaviour made him an easy target for gossip and rumours which destroyed his reputation and led to his being charged with murder.

Most of the book is Delano’s lengthy recounting of what he has learned about Orville, his death, and the charges of murder. His telling is convoluted and focuses on various people – Brenda, Orville’s first love; Milt Vale, a literature professor Orville encounter at university; Eunice Wise, Orville’s neighbour; and Gaby May Crump, a poor child whom Orville tries to help – and involves flashbacks to various time periods. It soon becomes clear that Orville’s fate is connected to a novel written by a young man whose work is deemed by some to be “’clumsy – awkward, inelegant and untrained.'”

Characters from other novels appear or are mentioned, most notably the protagonist of Mary Cyr, Paul Amos of Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul and John Delano of Principles to Live By. There are similarities among the characters of these books. So often his protagonists are people who are at odds with a society where appearances, status, and political correctness take precedence. For instance, John Delano is much like Orville; both are intelligent men with uncompromising codes of honour. John focused his life on rooting out evil whereas Orville was devoted to a search for beauty: “’goodness, kindness and simplicity – and that’s the beauty he was seeking, it was nothing else than that.’” Like Mary Cyr, Orville is a deeply wounded person who falls victim to exaggerated rumours and sensationalized gossip.

Orville believes evil exists, and this novel, like others by David Adams Richards, has its villains. Eunice Wise is self-righteous and totally lacking in empathy: “’She relished her right never to really care, but to pretend to care. The Handmaid’s Tale would titillate and rule her life, but no real handmaid would she help.’” Eunice reminds me of Melissa Sapp in Principles to Live By who portrays herself as an altruist but is a hypocrite because she only does what will aid her personal ambitions. Several of the seven deadly sins – pride, greed and envy - make their appearance, and the willingness of some people to use and manipulate others knows no bounds.

What is always impressive about DAR’s books is the memorable characters. The author takes great pains to explain the motivations of characters – why they behave as they do and make the choices they do. Orville, for example, who is dead and appears only in flashbacks, emerges as a complex character with positive qualities and flaws. Orville is maliciously maligned and scapegoated, but he is at heart a gentle, caring man who possesses the qualities of true beauty he spent his life seeking. The motivations of other characters are also thoroughly detailed so that their reactions and decisions are predictable and totally realistic.

There are a couple of elements in the book that troubled me. One is the inter-connectedness of all the characters - though I grew up in a small town and know first-hand how everyone knows everyone. It is not unusual for a young man to fall in love with a young woman, but what are the chances that this particular young man born to this father will meet and fall in love with this young woman with her “father” and background? Another issue is how John Delano uncovers some of the information; for instance, how could he know that a man stopped at a service station and “’was at that moment two feet from’” an item in the luggage compartment of a bus, or that, for one woman, a man’s name “’seemed to hover near her at moments in the day’s sun, or at night as she walked the sidewalk home’”?

As always, DAR strikes out at people for whom he feels contempt. There are some wonderful one-sentence disparagements: “’He listened to broadcasts by the vast, sweeping CBC that he found so pleasurable to listen to, where so many of our broad-minded reporters live in like-minded cubby holes for thirty years’” and “Many did not take his doctorate seriously – or as seriously as they would have if they had thought of it themselves. It’s amazing how certain academics can slough things off.’” Of course, people who “’”put on” sensitivity, or concern, or equality’” are targets for his scorn, as are those who are part of “the rumour mill of rural Canada, the glut of Tim Hortons gossip.’”

A novel by DAR is always multi-layered. There is so much to parse, but this is supposed to be a review, not an academic essay. I am, once again, impressed by his compassion for the poor. His books demonstrate a deep understanding of human behaviour and show the consequences of judging others on the basis of appearance, background and gossip. The book deserves to be read and re-read.

Darkness makes several references to the long-ago relationship between John Delano and Cathy MacDurmot; I understand that one of DAR’s first novels, Blood Ties, introduces the MacDurmot family and describes John and Cathy’s relationship. I’m off to try and find a copy and read it.

In the meantime, here are links to my reviews of other of David Adams Richards’ novels:
Mary Cyr: https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.com/2018/05/review-of-mary-cyr-by-david-adams.h...
Principles to Live By: https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.com/2016/06/review-of-principles-to-live-by-by....
Crimes Against My Brother: https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.com/2016/12/canadian-book-advent-calendar-day-1...
Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul: https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.com/2015/07/from-schatjes-reviews-archive-incid...
The Lost Highway: https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.com/2017/09/archival-review-lost-highway-by-dav...
… (lisätietoja)
 
Merkitty asiattomaksi
Schatje | Jun 10, 2021 |
Mercy among the children is a story of a small town in rural New Brunswick where a family is devastated by actions in the community. The story is told by the son of a family living below the poverty line and just managing to make it in the small town. How can one persons actions cause so much chaos? This is the story on how quickly it can happen and how out of hand it can get.. definitely recommended reading..
 
Merkitty asiattomaksi
sjh4255 | 28 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 4, 2021 |

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