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A Talk with
David Adams Richards
also featuring the
Rob Des Cotes Jazz Trio
Thursday, June 2, 7:00 PM
The Vancouver Club
915 West Hastings
Free & Open to the Public
Hors d'œuvre Reception
FINDING GOD, IN SPITE OF OURSELVES
A review of David Adams Richards' book
my search for faith in a secular world
... An unconventional prose-poem in three movements, extolling plain speaking about the mysterious moments that transformed the child born lame on the left side and who became the drinking companion of arsonists, thieves, drug dealers and murderers, into the mature writer too often called “our Tolstoy” and too rarely “our Blake.”
If you've not yet read one (and preferably all) of Richards's most recent novels – River of the Brokenhearted (2004), The Friends of Meager Fortune (2006), The Lost Highway (2007), God Is. will make less sense than it ought to. In 2000, Michael Ondaatje's Anil's Ghost and Richards's Mercy Among the Children co-won the Giller Prize. Good as Mercy is, and it is very, very good – The Washington Post called it “a contemporary masterpiece in the tradition of Tolstoy, Camus and Melville” – the novels that follow take wider-angled, more fully focused leaps into the realm of greatness.
The Friends of Meager Fortune is one of the greatest of all Canadian novels. Read it, if you haven't, and discover a small, essentially rural world of lumbermen and their teams of horses that is large enough to contain every quality ever imagined in mud and God. Read it and discover a world elastic enough that love and death, good and evil, can manifest themselves in characters who are honourable or despicable while serving larger purposes as symbols and allegories of an unorthodox Christianity. Read God Is. afterward.
Excerpted from a Globe & Mail review by T.F. Rigelhof, who is the author (curiously enough) of Nothing Sacred: A Journey Beyond Belief. If your paper needed somebody to review a cookbook of burger recipes, you'd hire a vegan?