I’m working on my post for David Adams Richards’ Road to the Stilt House and came across an interview with him from 1990. At this time, he had five novels published, the last being the Governor General’s Award winning Nights Below Station Street, and was soon to release Evening Snow Will Bring Such Peace.
Well worth the read even if you aren’t familiar with Richards’ work as he discusses the book trade in Canada, a writer’s relationship with academia and critics, and the lives of his characters.
The interview is conducted by Kathleen Scherf for the journal Studies in Canadian Literature. Here is a little quote to pique your interest:
KS Speaking of shaping Canadian literature, what about the debate over government funding of the arts: does it encourage mediocrity, or provide for excellence? Is it possible to be a writer in Canada and to make a living without government funding?
DAR No. If no one got funding, then there might be two writers in Canada: Margaret Atwood and Pierre Berton. And as respected as these people are, I’d still like to see some others write, so government funding is necessary. And sure there’s going to be grants given at the wrong times perhaps for the wrong reasons to the wrong people, but there are going to be grants given to other people who certainly can use them and who will write fine work.
KS Some people make money by writing for film and television.
DAR Yah, well, I wrote a film script, but when it was finally produced it wasn’t very much like the film script I wrote, so I won’t even talk about it, but I did a CBC script for Nights Below Station Street.
KS Is there an art to writing television?
DAR Well, it’s the art of getting along with people because it’s so communal, and I’ve never been able to do that.
The link is below. Hope you enjoy!
Interview with David Adams Richards