David Adams Richards: Lives of Short Duration

(2055 words)
  • David Barrick (University of Western Ontario)

Lives of Short Duration (1981) is the final book in David Adams Richards’s first trilogy of novels about a fictionalized community living along New Brunswick’s Miramichi river. Set during the late spring of 1980, this ambitious work uses a fragmented timeline to describe several generations of the Terri family, whose deterioration exemplifies the larger cultural and economic decay that has afflicted their community. Many of the primary characters have accepted, or succumbed to, the glamour of American materialism and pop culture at the expense of their Maritime identity and heritage. While they sense that something is gravely wrong in their lives, they continue to fill their spiritual void with alcohol, casual sex, and cheap c…

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Barrick, David. "Lives of Short Duration". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 May 2012
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=30428, accessed 28 September 2016.]