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Hope In The Desperate Hour

by David Adams Richards

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literary, small town & rural, family life
list price: $17.99
category: Fiction
published: 2001
imprint: Emblem Editions

Set in a small town in New Brunswick, this intricate, multi-layered novel revolves around the hapless Shackle family. There is Garth, a promising hockey player whose career has been destroyed; Vicki, his beautiful, self-destructive wife; and Garth’s brother Neil, a successful academic haunted by the life and family he has left behind. Then there is Peter Bathurst, a former Micmac leader desperate to stave off an investigation into his mishandling of band money. Peter’s only hope may be Vicki Shackle, and as the story of their lives unfolds and intersects over the course of a single day, events lead to the novel’s dramatic climax. Hope in the Desperate Hour is a riveting and unforgettable novel that brilliantly juxtaposes the world of the privileged elite with the reality of those to whom life has dealt very different cards.

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Contributor notes

David Adams Richards was born in Newcastle, New Brunswick, in 1950. He has published ten acclaimed novels, including the award-winning Miramichi trilogy – Nights Below Station Street, winner of the 1988 Governor General’s Award; Evening Snow Will Bring Such Peace (1990), winner of the Canadian Authors Association Award; and For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down (1993), winner of the Thomas Raddall Award – Hope in the Desperate Hour (1996), The Bay of Love and Sorrows (1998), and, most recently, Mercy Among the Children (2000), co-winner of the prestigious Giller Prize. In 1993, Richards received the Canada-Australia Prize.

Richards has also published three non-fiction books, most recently the Governor General’s Award-winning fishing memoir Lines on the Water (1998), and has written Gemini Award-winning screenplays for the CBC-TV adaptations of his novels For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down and Nights Below Station Street. “Small Gifts,” his original screenplay for CBC-TV, won a Gemini Award and the New York International Film Festival Award for Best Script.

Richards now lives in Toronto with his wife, Peggy, and their two sons.

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Editorial Review

“Richards’ prose is bared-to-the-bone and as hard as flint.…Compelling.…”
Globe and Mail
“The deft, understated artistry with which Richards conveys his vision is exhilarating.…[He] has spun a beguiling tale.”
“He portrays the nobility of the human spirit even in failure and the inevitable failures of being human. A profoundly moral book, Hope in the Desperate Hour is generous and sympathetic.”
eye Magazine
“[Richards is] a gifted writer whose fiction is among the most powerful in Canada today.”
London Free Press

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