Miramichi trilogy Books In Order
- Nights Below Station Street (1988)
- Evening Snow Will Bring Such Peace (1990)
- For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down (1993)
- Coming of Winter (1974)
- Blood Ties (1976)
- Lives of Short Duration (1981)
- Road to the Stilt House (1985)
- Hope in the Desperate Hour (1996)
- The Bay of Love and Sorrows (1998)
- Mercy Among the Children (1999)
- River of the Brokenhearted (2003)
- The Friends of Meager Fortune (2006)
- The Lost Highway (2007)
- Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul (2011)
- Crimes Against My Brother (2014)
- Principles To Live By (2016)
- Mary Cyr (2018)
- Darkness (2021)
- The Tragedy of Eva Mott (2022)
- Dancers at Night (1978)
- WOOL Gathering (2014)
- Murder: And Other Essays (2019)
- A Lad from Brantford (1994)
- Hockey Dreams (1996)
- Lines On the Water (1998)
- Playing the Inside Out (2008)
- Lord Beaverbrook (2008)
- God Is (2009)
- Facing the Hunter (2011)
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David Adams Richards Books Overview
Nights Below Station Street
David Adams Richards Governor General’s Award winning novel is a powerful tale of resignation and struggle, fierce loyalties and compassion. This book is the first in Richards acclaimed Miramichi trilogy. Set in a small mill town in northern New Brunswick, it draws us into the lives of a community of people who live there, including: Joe Walsh, isolated and strong in the face of a drinking problem; his wife, Rita, willing to believe the best about people; and their teenage daughter Adele, whose nature is rebellious and wise, and whose love for her father wars with her desire for independence. Richards unforgettable characters are linked together in conflict, and in articulate love and understanding. Their plight as human beings is one we share. From the Hardcover edition.
Coming of Winter
David Adams Richards finds universal truths in the very particular setting of New Brunswick’s Miramichi Valley. This, his first novel, provides a window upon a world that is as unsettling, as uncontrollable, and as inescapably authentic as a sudden brawl. The frustrations of the community are brought into focus in the plights of 20 year old Kevin Dulse, his family, and especially his wild young friends. An intensely realistic story, it stands firm upon its engaging, unaffected characters and the raw talent of its then 22 year old author.
For David Adams Richards, Blood Ties is not merely a figure of speech, but an assertion of the reality of life in small town Canada, where Blood Ties people in countless, almost unknowable ways to friends, community, and landscape. The lives of three generations of MacDurmots form a Miramichi Valley family portrait that is beguiling, insightful, witty, and tender. Employing dazzling angles of vision and fast shifting perspectives, Richards captures the inner lives of his characters with sympathy and understanding.
Lives of Short Duration
The Terris are engaging people, but they are a family in collapse. Alcoholism, drugs, and loveless sex have reduced them to a petty and wasted bunch. Worse, they typify aspects of the larger community besieged by financial woes and by creeping economic and cultural Americanization. What David Adams Richards accomplishes is no mean feat: his characters are at times vicious, sleazy, and even outright dim, yet he manages to entitle them to the interest and sympathy of the reader. Even more now than at its first publication in 1981, Lives of Short Duration‘s sharp, essential insights have significance for readers seeking to understand the modern Canadian predicament.
The Bay of Love and Sorrows
From the two time winner of the Governor General’s Award, The Bay of Love and Sorrows is an unflinching story of ambition and betrayal. The novel begins as the once strong friendship between Michael Skid, the privileged young son of a judge from town, and farmhand Tommie Donnerel collapses under the weight of a bitter misunderstanding. As Michael sets out to prove something to himself and others, he becomes drawn into the company of the beautiful and determined Madonna Brassaurd and her brother, Silver. The three are soon seduced by the glamour of Everette Hutch, a charismatic but violent man, whose latest scheme appears certain to result in tragedy. Bridging the decent world of Tommie Donnerel and the darker realm of the Brassaurds and Everette Hutch is Karrie Smith. Home from college for the summer, Karrie’s deep longing for a more exciting life makes her especially vulnerable to a world she does not completely understand.
Mercy Among the Children
When twelve year old Sidney Henderson pushes his friend Connie off the roof of a local church in a moment of anger, he makes a silent vow: Let Connie live and I will never harm another soul. At that very moment, Connie stands, laughs, and walks away. Sidney keeps his promise through adulthood despite the fact that his insular, rural community uses his pacifism to exploit him. Sidney’s son Lyle, however, assumes an increasingly aggressive stance in defense of his family. When a small boy is killed in a tragic accident and Sidney is blamed, Lyle takes matters into his own hands. In his effort to protect the people he loves his beautiful and fragile mother, Elly; his gifted sister, Autumn; and his innocent brother, Percy it is Lyle who will determine his family’s legacy.
River of the Brokenhearted
Janie McCleary runs one of the first movie theatres in New Brunswick. A successful woman in a world of men, she is ostracized, a victim of double dealing and overt violence. She trusts no one outside her family. Spanning generations, ‘River of the Broken Hearted’ explores the life of this formidable woman, a pioneer before the age of feminism, and her legacy as it unfolds tragically in the lives of her son and grandchildren. Written with aching compassion and masterful sophistication, ‘River of the Broken Hearted’ muses on the tyranny of memory and history, and peers into the hearts of these extraordinary characters. There Richards finds an alchemy of venality and goodwill, of deceit and brotherliness, of cruelty and love. Once again, David Adams Richards has brought us a work of astonishing grace, rooted on the great Miramichi River of New Brunswick, but universal in scope. ‘A contemporary masterpiece that, in the tradition of Tolstoy, Camus and Melville, reminds us that redemption is to be found in the suffering of innocents.’ ‘Washington Post’ a Best Book of 2002. ‘An incomparable voyage into humanity’s flawed heart’ ‘The Scotsman’. ‘David Adams Richards’ characters achieve redemption through affliction, but the reader does not feel afflicted. The unique style, the humour and narrative drive of ‘Mercy Among the Children’ carry you along to a magnificent conclusion that is somehow both heartbreaking and uplifting.’ Wayne Johnston, author of ‘The Navigator of New York’. ‘David Adams Richards is perhaps the greatest Canadian writer alive…
Although ‘Mercy Among the Children’ is unrelentingly tragic, as with most tragedies the undertone is one of boundless hope’ ‘Vancouver Sun’.
The Friends of Meager Fortune
In his major new novel, The Friends of Meager Fortune, Richards explores the dying days of the lumber industry in the mid twentieth century. This is a transfixing love story of betrayal, envy, and sexual jealousy, which builds to a tragically inevitable climax. It is also a devastating portrait of a pre mechanized time, and a brilliant commemoration of the passing of a world. Rich with all the passion, ambition and almost mythic vision that defines David Adams Richards’ work, The Friends of Meager Fortune is a profound and important book about the hands and the heart; about true greatness and true weakness; about the relentlessness of fate and the evil that men and women do. Wise, stark, and without a false word in it, it cements David Adams Richards’ claim to be the finest novelist at work in Canada today.
The Lost Highway
What had happened, from those days until now? And why had it? And how had his life gone? And who was to blame? Or why did he think he had to blame anyone? Certainly he couldn t even blame Mr. Roach, caught in the same turmoil as everyone believing half truths in order to blame other people. p. 141These are the forlorn thoughts of Alex Chapman, the tragic anti hero of David Adams Richards masterful novel The Lost Highway. An exploration of the philosophical contortions of which man is capable, the novel tracks the desperate journey of an eternally lost and orphaned child/man who has nearly squandered his frail birthright but might yet earn some degree of redemption. Alex spent a stunted childhood watching his gentle mother defiled by rough handed men including Roach, his biological father. Upon his mother’s death Alex is passed into the care of his hard nosed great uncle Jim Chapman, nicknamed The Tyrant by their Miramichi community. Alex s uncle becomes a symbol of all that he loathes. Alex distinguishes himself from this brutal masculinity that stole his mother from himby becoming a self imposed ascetic, entering the local seminary and rehearsing his own version of piousness. But when he is tempted by the Monsignor s request to deliver charitable funds to the bank, Alex pockets the money and flees to the home of Minnie, whom he worships and who he has learned is now pregnant by Sam Patch, a good man, but too rough in Alex s eyes. He attempts to talk Minnie into using the money for an abortion, and it is only her refusal that sends him back to the seminary to return the money. Do you remember if the phone rang in the booth along the highway that night? p. 87 asks MacIlvoy, a fellow seminarian who had gotten wind of the theft and tried to detour Alex from this path. But of course Alex had ignored the rings, as he would ignore many warnings in his tragic life. Caught red handed and forced to return as a prodigal son that never was to his uncle s house, Alex again flees to yet another refuge, this time to the safe moral relativism of academia, where he becomes an expert at reducing meaning to ethical dust. However, he finds himself unable to navigate the easy duplicity in which his peers are fluent, and takes an isolated and idealistic stand which causes him to be drummed out of the facultyas a figure of ridicule. A bitter and alienated Alex once again returns defeated to a shack on his uncle s property, spending his days in the family scrapyard forging dreadful humanoid creatures out of junked metal, a modern day Prometheus. One day he is asked by MacIlvoy, now the local priest, to create a Virgin for the church grotto. Some part of him still influenced by divinity guides his hand to create a beautiful Madonna, her face inspired by a lovely young girl he spots one day in the market. Two days later he finds out that the girl is Amy Patch, the child he urged his childhood sweetheart to abort fifteen years earlier. He will also find out that it is once again the fate of this innocent girl, at his own hands, that will determine whether he will ever experience the grace he so dearly craves. Trudging The Lost Highway while mulling over his grievances as usual, Alex runs into Burton Tucker, whose own mind and body have been stunted by the brutality of his birth mother. The generally pliant Burton runs the local garage, offering lotto tickets as a bonus for oil changes. He is on his way to deliver some good news: Jim Chapman is a winner, to the tune of $13 million. Alex realizes that he could have been the one to bring Jim s truck to Burton and receive the winning ticket, but he had refused because of the grudge he held against Jim. Once again, Alex has been thwarted by an ironic twist of fate and it is too much to bear. He decides at that moment that his uncle must never see the money, and begins a treacherous intrigue, which he justifies through the tortured ethical logic with which he has become so skilled. He unwittingly aligns himself with a very dangerous partner, Leo Bourque, the childhood bully who made his schooldays such hell, and whose days of playing cat and mouse with the weak Alex are not over. Their twinned descent will become deadly, marked by murder both actual and intended. How far would any of us go to avenge a terrible wrong done to us at birth? To whom shall we assign blame? And can we achieve redemption, no matter how grievous our sins? David Adams Richards The Lost Highway is a taut psychological thriller that goes far beyond the genre into the worlds of Leo Tolstoy, and Emily Bront s Wuthering Heights, as well as classical Greek mythology, testing the very limits of humankind s all too tenuous grasp on morality. From the Hardcover edition.
Lines On the Water
Writing with the same mastery and insight that have won him praise for his fiction, Richards brings to life a community centered on fly fishing, a sport that has become, for many, a way of life. Weaving together tales of the guides and poachers, the ‘sports’ and the city slickers, Richards pays tribute to all who have shared the joy of fishing. From his first fishing trip at age 4 to his endless search for the next great fishing pool, Richards takes us beyond fly fishing and offers thoughts and insight about nature, perseverance, reverence, friendship, history, memory, and the changes the modern world has brought. Lines On the Water teems with wisdom, humor, and most of all, passion.
Playing the Inside Out
In this provocative essay, David Adams Richards brings together his ideas about writing how great works of literature are created, the writer& 146s essential position as an outsider, and the difficulties writers experience in the pursuit of personal truth. The quest for truth always comes with a price, says Richards, but it also results in freedom for writers and their characters, and sometimes results in great works of literature. Says Richards, & 147What I say to young writers is never fear that you too will be evaluated most harshly in your life for telling the truth. That the truth, not as others see it, but as you do, can only be told by you…
The most important gift you can give the world is to write how you feel…
There are no guarantees if you do this, but there is no hope if you do not. Playing the Inside Out is the Second Antonine Maillet Northrop Frye Lecture, sponsored by the Universit de Moncton. It was presented on April 28, 2007 in Moncton, New Brunswick, at the 2007 Frye Festival.