Former Franklin man’s book on bestseller list

Published 9:29 am Saturday, March 12, 2011


FRANKLIN—Nine people are on the waiting list at Ruth Camp Campbell Memorial Library for hometown boy Mark Richard’s “House of Prayer No. 2: A Writer’s Journey Home.”

Bonnie Roblin, branch manager for the Franklin library, said another copy of the book has been ordered and should be available next week.

“I’ve read half of it, and it’s very powerful, very subtle,” said Roblin. “He’s an excellent writer.”

As of March 6, the Southern Indie Bestseller list puts “House of Prayer No. 2” at No. 15 in the non-fiction category. The book was at No. 4 for the week ending Feb. 27.

In her review of the book on Feb. 11 in The New York Times Book Review, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum praised the “unusual memoir” and the author as “a fiercely gifted writer.”

This most recent book concentrates on his time in Franklin, where he grew up in the 1960s.

According to the Random House website, Richard has written “The Ice at the Bottom of the World,” which was his first book, followed by “Charity” and “Fishboy.” He’s won the PEN/Hemingway Award, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, as well as a Whiting Foundation Writer’s Award.

In addition to the written page, Richard co-wrote the screenplay for “Stop Loss,” a 2008 film. He was a writer and producer for the 2004 cable series, “Huff,” and a consulting producer for an episode of “Criminal Minds,” another television series.

Richard is also a playwright. His play, “The Little Sister,” won the Joseph Jefferson Award Citation for New Work in 1994.

He lives with his family in Los Angeles. His mother, Clara Richard, lives in Franklin.