Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Richard Adams, 1920 - 2016

The Gaslight House Richard Adams Watership Down The Girl in a Swing
Meeting Richard Adams two years ago, when he signed new
editions of his classic books "Watership Down" and "Shardik."
The Girl in a Swing was the last book I read just before moving to Europe, and I savoured each page as though in a trance, delirious. It was beautiful, haunting, and it was probably author Richard Adams' way of going "dark," this tale for grownups, a Watership Down intensified.

Almost a decade later, I read that he was doing a rare appearance at a bookstore in Winchester. We just arrived from a three-week trip to the US and I was in my first trimester with H and had a lot of things going on. But this opportunity to meet Adams, then 94, was one I didn't want to miss. I remember looking at him and his wife during the signing and felt how lucky they were that they grew old together. Old age, I thought, is something that some people fear, especially if they do not have anyone else to share it with. Read more about that experience of meeting him here.

The Gaslight House Richard Adams Watership Down The Girl in a Swingn
Richard Adams signing books, with Mike and M in the
background.
BBC South Today filmed that afternoon and when I finally saw the clip, I was so chuffed that most of the footages had me and my family in them. What a way to remember that meeting. I checked the video and it's still up over here.

Not too long ago, I signed up for any news about Richard Adams on google alerts. Early this year, I was excited when I read the news that he planned to release his first picture book for five-year-olds. What good timing, I thought, having a daughter who was five until last October. I would sometimes go on to google to find out if the book had been released but there wasn't any update on it. The book, The Egg-box Dragon, was said to be the author's last published work.

I'm glad I had met him. But I still regret not rereading The Girl in a Swing sooner as I wanted to write him a letter about it.

Rest in peace, Mr. Adams

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