An emotionally charged masterpiece from a Canadian literary legend.
John Delano is a broken man, seemingly at the end of everything: the end of his legendary but controversial career as a police officer; the end of his sad and difficult marriage; the end of his years-long search for the truth of what happened to his missing son; the end of his fruitless quest for personal redemption; even, perhaps, the end of his life. Only one small thing keeps him going: his conviction that he has a final case to solve, centred around the disappearance years ago of a young boy placed in foster care in Saint John, New Brunswick. Following the delicate and convoluted thread of that case takes John to unexpected places: dangerously close to powerful civil servants hoarding damning secrets; to a Canadian humanitarian mission in Rwanda before and during the genocide; to New York and the compromised corridors of the United Nations; and deep into his own haunted past.
With this new masterwork, David Adams Richards continues to astonish us, weaving familiar themes in fresh new ways. His people are still rooted in his beloved Miramichi region of New Brunswick, but his storytelling—as always, displaying his genius for plot and his extraordinary empathy for his flawed characters—has expanded to encompass the much wider world that his people traverse: the politically charged, intricately connected modern universe in all its richness, contradiction, devastation and little points of hope. In the end, what ties John Delano to every other unforgettable character in this compelling work is the shared search for principles to live by: as each person decides what those principles shall be, their fates inevitably and heartbreakingly intertwine.
About the author
David Adams Richards was born in Newcastle, New Brunswick. His celebrated body of work has earned numerous awards and accolades to date, most notably for his prose, poetry, novels, and screenplays. All examine the fundamental conflict between individual conscience and truth versus community, history, and perceptions.
Adams Richards recent novels include River of the Brokenhearted (2003), a depiction of a family whose fortunes rise and fall with the success of its movie theatres, The Friends of Meager Fortune (2006), an exploration of the dying days of the lumber industry, which won the Commonwealth Prize (Canada and the Caribbean), and The Lost Highway (2007), a suspenseful story of greed, betrayal, and Murder. Lines on the Water, about fishing on the Miramichi, won the Governor General’s Award for non-fiction in 1998, making Richards one of a very select group; he is only the third person to win Governor General literary awards in two different categories. The first novel in his Miramichi trilogy, Nights Below Station Street, received the Governor Generals Award for fiction in 1988. Mercy Among the Children was co-winner of the Giller Prize in 2000. It has also won the Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Award for both novel of the year and author of the year in 2001.
David Adams Richards, né en 1950 à Newcastle, au Nouveau-Brunswick, est un auteur prolifique : il a fait paraître treize romans, un recueil de nouvelles ainsi que trois essais. Son succès critique et commercial ne cesse de s’accroître. Le roman Road to the Stilt House a été mis en nomination pour un Prix littéraire du Gouverneur général en 1985, et en 1988 l’auteur recevait cette même distinction pour Nights Below Station Street, premier volet de sa trilogie du Miramichi. Evening Snow Will Bring Such Peace a été primé par la Canadian Authors Association en 1991, et trois ans plus tard, For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down a valu à Richards la récompense littéraire Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize.
Les œuvres plus tardives de Richards sont tout aussi bien reçues par la critique. En 1998, son essai Lines on the Water sur la pêche à la ligne dans le Miramichi est honoré du Prix du Gouverneur général, et il se place dès lors au sein d’un groupe enviable : il est seulement le troisième auteur à obtenir la prestigieuse récompense dans deux catégories. En 2000, Mercy Among the Children [La Malédiction Henderson] remporte ex aequo le Giller Prize et, en 2001, la Canadian Booksellers Association récompense Richards du Prix Libris dans les catégories roman de l’année et auteur de l’année. Parmi ses romans les plus récents, on compte River of the Brokenhearted (2003), les hauts et les bas d’une famille au fil des succès et des défaites d’une salle de cinéma; The Friends of Meager Fortune (2006), qui explore de la fin de l’ère de l’industrie forestière, qui a valu à son auteur le Prix du Commonwealth pour la région du Canada et des Caraïbes; et The Lost Highway (2007), une intrigante histoire d’avarice, de trahison et de meurtre.
"Richards continues his career-long inquiry into the nature of morality. . . . Delano is a powerfully drawn, devastatingly flawed central character. . . . There is a powerful story here, written with Richards' usual attention to detail and his wholly original approach to both prose and narrative, with a powerfully evoked, deeply flawed main character." —The Vancouver Sun
"Principles to Live By demands that we look. Its descriptions are often staggeringly beautiful. . . . No one does the banality of evil quite like Richards. . . . A powerful, mysterious narrative engine." —The Globe and Mail
"The man who lives without principles is a pitiable beast. The question is: what principles should we live by? . . . The novel is not so much a conventional crime novel as it is a devil's comedy with God and His saints having the last word. . . . I like the author's outspokenness, his bracing and fearless facing of the reader, eyeball to eyeball." —National Post