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      Aspects of David Adams Richards’ Fictional World 

      Personal History II

      Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.

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          All Richards’ writing during the decade from 2000 to 2010 shows a concern with history. After the two historical novels produced in the first half, three out of his next four books were nonfiction and the fourth was another historical novel, The Lost Highway (2007). Although not about Richards’ family, The Lost Highway was still personal in that it dealt with the history of his generation—a history he had lived through as an observant outsider and a critic. In all of the three nonfiction books, the historical narrative is combined with biography or autobiography. Lord Beaverbrook, which appeared the year after Highway, is a short biography commissioned for the “Great Canadians” series. It is Richards’ only non-fiction book that is not mainly autobiographical, but although not autobiographical, it is still personal. Richards deals with Lord Beaverbrook’s progress from a youth driven to succeed in spite of discouraging circumstances to an integral member of Winston Churchill’s war effort as he rises to an occasion offered him by destiny. Like Richards himself and most of his fictional heroes, Max Aitkin is a searching outsider who “was never really sure exactly why things happened” (166).

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