Franklin man’s best-seller named as one of year’s top 10

Published 10:43 am Wednesday, December 28, 2011

By Stephen H. Cowles/Contributing Writer


FRANKLIN—A former Franklin’s man’s best-seller — “House of Prayer No. 2: A Writer’s Journey Home” — has been named as one of this year’s top 10 non-fiction books by The Wall Street Journal.

In addition, the magazine Entertainment Weekly named Mark Richard’s book No. 1 in non-fiction for 2011.

Richard, who lives with his family in Los Angeles, could not be reached for comment, but his mother, Clara Richard of Franklin, said news of the book’s listing was “just so exciting.” She learned about it from her son-in-law.

The memoir concentrates on Mark Richard’s time growing up in Franklin during the 1960s.

In March, Ruth Camp Campbell Memorial Library Branch Manager Bonnie Roblin said the patrons’ demand for the book was such that she would be ordering another copy. At the time, Roblin was halfway through the memoir and described it as “very powerful, very subtle. He’s an excellent writer.”

The Wall Street Journal’s book reviewer is quoted as describing it as a “liberating demonstration of the power of faith.”

Other books by Richard include his first, “The Ice at the Bottom of the World,” “Charity” and “Fishboy.” He’s also received the PEN/Hemingway Award, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and a Whiting Foundation Writer’s Award.

Richard’s writing has also extended to screenplays for movies; he co-wrote “Stop Loss” and a cable series “Huff”, as well as being a consulting producer for an episode of “Criminal Minds,” another TV series.

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