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Biography & Autobiography General

Notes on a Writer's Life

A Memoir

by (author) David Adams Richards

Pottersfield Press
Initial publish date
Jul 2023
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2023
    List Price

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Notes on a Writer's Life is the author's account of his more than fifty years as a writer. It chronicles his early childhood, his high school years of turmoil and rebellion, and his uneasy relationship with both publishers and academics. Throughout, Richards records his continuous investigation into human conflict, into the chasm between the seeking of power and the knowledge of love. The book also deliberates on his examination into the nature of violence, both overt and coercive, that he has considered in thirty-five books. Richards describes his travels to various parts of the world, his love of the sea, his love of Spain, and his fight against alcoholism. Crucially and poignantly, he recounts how for years his wife Peggy has been his greatest ally and supporter.

Notes on a Writer's Life also includes his relationships with other writers — his respect for Alden Nowlan, Alistair MacLeod, P.K. Page, Joel Hines, and Patrick Lane, and his friendship with Ray Fraser among others. Here, too, are his views on writers like Orwell, Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky.
Readers will learn of his determination to write against the odds, from the early books like The Coming of Winter, Blood Ties and Lives of Short Duration, to his later works, such as Mercy Among the Children, Crimes Against My Brother, and Darkness. Richards believes that suffering is inherent and so is joy. He reflects on the absolute necessity of reaching toward a spiritual life (if not a religious one) as well as his knowledge of war and revolutions, and how both swallow humanity's greater need for justice and liberty.
According to Professor William Connor, "Judged by the quality, scope, volume and variety of his writing — his stubborn almost compulsive bravery (Richards) towers over the great majority of contemporary Canadian writers."

About the author

David Adams Richards studied English from 1970 to 1973, when he left university to become a full-time writer. Although known mainly as a novelist, he has written poetry, short stories, non-fiction, screenplays, and biography. He has won many important awards, including the Governor General's Award both for fiction (Nights Below Station Street, M&S, 1988) and for non-fiction (Lines on the Water, Doubleday, 1998). Mercy Among the Children (Doubleday) was co-winner of the Giller Prize in 2000. In 1993, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by STU.

David Adams Richards' profile page

Other titles by David Adams Richards