Trim: 6¼ x 9½
978-1-4985-2870-2 • Hardback • May 2017 • $111.00 • (£85.00)
978-1-4985-2871-9 • eBook • May 2017 • $105.50 • (£82.00)
Sara MacDonald is professor in the Great Books Program at St. Thomas University
Barry Craig is principal at Huron University College.
I.Meager Fortunes Indeed: The Friends of Meager Fortune
II. Seeking Mercy: Mercy Among the Children
III.Travelling Lost Highways: The Lost Highway
IV.Conclusion: Crimes Against My Brother
V.Postscript: Principles to Live By
Overall, the authors make a convincing case that Richards’ novels, while they portray a universe in which the protagonists are beset by cruel twists of fate and in which their own willful choices often undo them, ultimately do contain seeds of hope and an underlying belief in the efficacy of love and self-sacrifice.
Freedom is a choice. This is the radical account that Sara MacDonald and Barry Craig present of the later novels of David Adams Richards. The Friends of Meager Fortune, Mercy Among the Children, The Lost Highway, and Crimes Against My Brother are novels, to the commentators, which describe a course toward freedom. Freedom is truly a state of being: it is a choice and an end point. . . . The book of commentary (rather than criticism) follows four of Richards’ later novels, re-narrating and commenting on the plots. In Richards’ schemes, what is bleak and hopeless can also preserve epiphanies of freedom. This book addresses objections that Richards’ work is unkind to his characters, his plots booby-trapped with inescapable fates and prophecies that doom and debilitate. Events and characters are reframed in the commentators words as 'studies of human resilience, and the triumphs of [Richards’] characters are the moments of their greatest freedom.' . . . . MacDonald and Craig provide a sophisticated take on Richards’ view of theodicy. Richards is not interested in the “problem of freedom.” Freedom is choice.
— Canadian Literature