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Playing the Inside Out / Le jeu des apparences
Playing the Inside Out / Le jeu des apparences

Playing the Inside Out / Le jeu des apparences

In this provocative essay, David Adams Richards brings together his ideas about writing — how great works of literature are created, the writer's essential position as an outsider, and the difficulties writers experience in the pursuit of personal truth. The quest for truth always comes with a price, says Richards, but it also results in freedom for writers and their characters, and sometimes results in great works of literature.

Says Richards, "What I say to young writers is never fear that you too will be evaluated most harshly in your life for telling the truth. That the truth, not as others see it, but as you do, can only be told by you... The most important gift you can give the world is to write how you feel... There are no guarantees if you do this, but there is no hope if you do not."

Playing the Inside Out is the Second Antonine Maillet-Northrop Frye Lecture, sponsored by the Université de Moncton. It was presented on April 28, 2007 in Moncton, New Brunswick, at the 2007 Frye Festival.


David Adams Richards is a resident of Fredericton and is one of only three Canadian writers who have won Governor General's Awards for Fiction and Non-Fiction. His novel Mercy Among the Children won the 2000 Giller Prize, while his most recent novel, Incidents in the Life of Marcus Paul, won the 2012 Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award.

96 pages
Pub date: February 14, 2008