Celebrated Canadian novelist David Adams Richards has been appointed to the Senate, the Prime Minister’s Office said Wednesday.
Richards will represent New Brunswick in the Red Chamber.
Richards has penned a number of bestselling books, and is one of only a handful of authors who has received a Governor General’s Award in both the non-fiction and fiction categories.
He was a co-winner of the 2000 Giller Prize for his novel Mercy Among the Children, and has received a number of other prestigious awards, including two Geminis for script writing.
Richards has written extensively about his love of hunting and fly fishing on the Miramichi River. The angler has not hidden his disdain for urban progressives who thumb their noses at rural life.
“Progressive is such a damnable word,” Richards said in the prologue of his book Facing the Hunter. “Most of the people determined to align rifles with murder and thugs have never handled rifles — and don’t know the difference between them.”
His 2010 national bestseller God Is is about his search for God and his sometimes rocky relationship with organized religion.
“It is a book that simply states God is present, and always was and will be whether we say we have faith or not, whether we observe His presence or scorn His presence,” he wrote in the introduction.
He has also written a non-fiction book, Hockey Dreams on the place of hockey in the Canadian soul.
A voice for supporting the arts
Richards has been lauded as “one of the most distinct and compelling voices in contemporary literature.” Many of his novels focus on betrayal, murder, adultery, corporate malfeasance and government corruption.
Richards has also been a vocal advocate for the arts, wading into the 2010 New Brunswick election to urge candidates to promise more financial support.
“They are the only ones who can tell the truth about us. And there is a terrible and essential and poignant reason why we must seek to tell this truth. In telling the truth about ourselves, we alone can give justice to our people and our province, to the work that we do and the lives that we live,” he said of writers and artists in an op-ed published by CBC.
The Fredericton-based author was chosen by the prime minister’s new independent, merit-based appointments process, which was set up shortly after the Liberal government took office.
Richards is Trudeau’s 29th pick for the Senate.
“I am extremely — extremely — proud to have asked…