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House of Prayer No. 2

A Writer's Journey Home

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Hardcover published by Nan A. Talese (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book

Crippled by deformed hips as a child, Mark Richard was told he would spend his adult life in a wheelchair. The son of an unpredictable, violent father and a mother who sought inner peace through scripture, Richard spent his bedridden childhood in the company of books. As a young man, he set out to experience as much of the world as possible before his hips failed him. He spent years doing odd jobs and getting into trouble, grappling throughout with his faith and his calling, before winning a national fiction contest and launching an extraordinary writing career.
 
In this irresistible blend of history, travelogue, and personal reflection, Richard draws a remarkable portrait of a writer’s struggle with his faith, the evolution of his art, and the recognition of one’s singularity in the face of painful disability.

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Crippled by deformed hips as a child, Mark Richard was told he would spend his adult life in a wheelchair. The son of an unpredictable, violent father and a mother who sought inner peace through scripture, Richard spent his bedridden childhood in the company of books. As a young man, he set out to experience as much of the world as possible before his hips failed him. He spent years doing odd jobs and getting into trouble, grappling throughout with his faith and his calling, before winning a national fiction contest and launching an extraordinary writing career.
 
In this irresistible blend of history, travelogue, and personal reflection, Richard draws a remarkable portrait of a writer’s struggle with his faith, the evolution of his art, and the recognition of one’s singularity in the face of painful disability.

Product Details
Hardcover (224 pages)
Published: February 15, 2011
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Nan A. Talese
ISBN: 9780385513029
Other books byMark Richard
  • When Truth Gives Out

    When Truth Gives Out
    Is the point of belief and assertion invariably to think or say something true? Is the truth of a belief or assertion absolute, or is it only relative to human interests? Most philosophers think it incoherent to profess to believe something but not think it true, or to say that some of the things we believe are only relatively true. Common sense disagrees. It sees many opinions, such as those about matters of taste, as neither true nor false; it takes it as obvious that some of the truth is relative. Mark Richard's accessible book argues that when it comes to truth, common sense is right, philosophical orthodoxy wrong. The first half of the book examines connections between the performative aspects of talk (what we do when we speak), our emotions and evaluations, and the conditions under which talk and thought qualifies as true or false. It argues that the performative and expressive sometimes trump the semantic, making truth and falsity the wrong dimension of evaluation for belief or assertion. Among the topics taken up are: racial slurs and other epithets; relations between logic and truth; the status of moral and ethical talk; vagueness and the liar paradox. The book's second half defends the idea that much of everyday thought and talk is only relatively true or false. Truth is inevitably relative, given that we cannot work out in advance how our concepts will apply to the world. Richard explains what it is for truth to be relative, rebuts standard objections to relativism, and argues that relativism is consistent with the idea that one view can be objectively better than another. The book concludes with an account of matters of taste and of how it is possible for divergent views of such matters to be equally valid, even if not true or false. When Truth Gives Outwill be of interest not only to philosophers who work on language, ethics, knowledge, or logic, but to any thoughtful person who has wondered what it is, or isn't, for something to be true.

    Fishboy

    Fishboy
    In the brilliant idiom of a modern Melville or Conrad, an odyssey of discovery by a bold and outrageous talent--the PEN/Hemingway Award--winning author of The Ice At The Bottom Of The World.

    Charity

    Charity
    With Charity, Mark Richard again secures the distinction of poet laureate of the orphaned poor, the broken, the deceived, and the unrelieved. In stylistic brilliance, he renders their conditions with grace and compassion, and redeems and transports their tragedy with wicked humor. In the much-anthologized "The Birds for Christmas," two hospitalized boys beg a night nurse to let them watch Hitchcock's classic thriller film on television, believing it will relieve their Yuletide loneliness. "Gentleman's Agreement" is a classic father-son story of fear and the violence of love. In "Memorial Day," a bayou boy learns the lessons of living from Death himself, a fortune cookie-eating phantom who claims to be "a people person." From charity ward to outrageous beach bungalow, Richard visits the overlooked corners of America, making them unforgettably visible. Richard has been rightly compared to Faulkner for his language and to Flannery O'Connor for his stark moral vision, but his force and sensibility remain his own. Charity is a powerful reading experience, a true accomplishment in an already stunning literary career.

    The Ice at the Bottom of the World

    The Ice at the Bottom of the World
    Stories
    In these ten stories, Mark Richard, winner of the 1990 PEN/Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award, emerges as the heir apparent to Mark Twain, Flannery O'Connor, and William Faulkner.

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