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2018 April Loan Stars Top Picks

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Mary Cyr
By (author): David Adams Richards
9780385682480 Hardcover English General Trade FICTION / Literary Apr 10, 2018
$34.00 CAD
Active 6.6 x 9.2 x 1.5 in 432 pages Doubleday Canada
A fresh new novel from a Canadian literary legend—this time with an extraordinary and unforgettable woman protagonist who is sure to become one of the great characters in our literature.

Mary Cyr opens in Mexico, just as a disaster strikes a small town: a coal-mine has collapsed, with thirteen men trapped inside. Less than forty-eight hours later, the authorities summarily decide to abandon all hope of finding survivors and seal up the mine entrance—willfully oblivious to the half-dozen souls still breathing below ground. Shortly after that, a thirteen-year-old Mexican boy, Victor, is discovered dead in the hotel room of a Canadian visitor—a 45-year-old woman, and heiress to a vast fortune, who goes by the name Mary Cyr.

Thus begins this shocking, brilliant and compelling novel—a late-career tour de force by one of our most unique and powerful writers. In his last couple of novels, David Adams Richards has widened the scope of his vision and his world, taking us into far-flung countries and lives even as his beloved territory of New Brunswick’s Miramichi remains his touchstone, the spot to which all his stories return. In Mary Cyr, the unwinding tale will take us from a harsh jail cell in Mexico, where Mary Cyr is imprisoned, deep into Canadian police officer John Delano’s past, and even further into the murky depths of a wealthy New Brunswick family whose ties to mining, newspapers and a host of other interests lead to the highest corridors of power. At the heart of this maelstrom lies a woman who is compromised and confused, but also poignant, wounded and well-intentioned: the beautiful and tragic Mary Cyr.

DAR’S WORLD: This is the second book in DAR’s final trilogy—in other words, the second last novel he will write in his Miramichi cycle. His final novel, Darkness, will complete that cycle in 2019. It is time to talk about his accomplishment.

JOHN DELANO’S WORLD: Each book in this final trilogy features John Delano, the weary police officer who is a foil for the author himself. Again in this novel, John is a main character.

A WOMAN’S WORLD: The exciting thing about this particular book is the emergence of an unforgettable, and instantly classic female character in the fascinating Mary Cyr. DAR is a writer known for his masculine sensibility, but he is also one of the great writers of complex female characters—and Mary Cyr is one of his best.

DAVID ADAMS RICHARDS is one of Canada’s preeminent writers. His recent novels include Principles to Live By, as well as Crimes Against My Brother and Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul, which were both longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Among his other recent novels, The Lost Highway was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award and nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. The Friends of Meagre Fortune won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book. Mercy Among the Children won the Giller Prize and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Trillium Award. Richards is also the author of the celebrated Miramichi Triology and has written four bestselling books of nonfiction: Lines on the Water, God Is, Facing the Hunter and Hockey Dreams.

Author Residence: Fredericton, New Brunswick

Author Hometown: Fredericton, New Brunswick



Praise for Principles to Live By:

“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

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