Fate and Freedom in the Novels of David Adams Richards

By (author) Sara MacDonald, Barry Craig

Hardback - £81.00

Publication date:

19 May 2017

Length of book:

174 pages

Publisher

Lexington Books

ISBN-13: 9781498528702

This book explores the understanding of freedom developed in the later novels of celebrated Canadian author, David Adams Richards. Many reviewers highlight two interconnected features in Richards novels: a seemingly rigid determinism of setting and sociodemographics, and a resulting hopelessness. In contrast, Richards describes the quest of human life and the purpose of his novels as a search for freedom. This book explores the account of freedom that is developed through the course of four of Richards’s works: The Friends of Meager Fortune, Mercy Among the Children, The Lost Highway, and Crimes Against My Brother. Following the Augustinian thread that informs Richards’s writing, we argue that rather than presenting an understanding of human life that is bleak or hopeless, Richards instead reveals an argument wherein one’s happiness and freedom is found in the midst of love.
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.