“Bookshelves are like people. Each book is someone we have met, a story that comes to us, that makes us who we are…memories of moments of (our) own becoming.”
The Crucifixion is Theodore Richards’ first novel. It begins with a vision – “The Dream” – he had in a little bathroom where he spent a night on the beach in Mozambique in the 90s, seeking shelter from a storm. In writing it, he uncovered, to a certain extent, the personal mythology in which he was living as a young man seeking the diverse colors of creation in a black and white world.
While dealing with such issues as race, violence towards women, and religion, The Crucifixion is a modern American myth, following the classical, archetypal, mythic patterns of departure and return. In reclaiming the mythic patterns of Christianity, it reframes the Old Testament in terms of the flight of African Americans from the Deep South during the Great Migration and the New Testament as the struggle for meaning in the modern, urban America. It is the story of a young man who is lost and alone, and must return to the city of his birth to find his place in the world. Ultimately, the man must awaken from the urban nightmare in which the world is “black and white” to realize that he and the city are embedded in a world of living color.
The Crucifixion received a 2013 bronze medal from the Independent Publisher Awards and the USA Book Award.
Praise for The Crucifixion
“I was moved emotionally by The Crucifixion. …In today’s rapidly changing world, the ability of individuals, families, and communities to live with hope and purpose is essential, but according to my observations, too rare. The characters demonstrate how ordinary people can live extraordinary lives that exude the power to transform those around them.”
– Wayne Gustafson, author of Community of Promise: The Untold Story of Moses
“Theodore Richards’ Crucifixion is a narrative composed of the overlapping orbits of souls passing through the force fields of faith, belief and judgment. The reader moves through the dreams, experiences and memories of the characters, as trials, trespass and prophecy carve out a shared revelation. Hearts and minds flow at a swift pace, crisscrossing the lines that divide us and the lines that connect us all. The Crucifixion is fresh yet familiar, clear yet complex, modern and mythologic.”
– J. K. McDowell, author of Night, Mystery & Light
“…in the very living, breathing characters and events of this modern urbanized tale of redemption, there is unmistakably the real presence of that Light, enfolded somehow as if into the very center, the pith and marrow, of our seeming deepest grief, fear, guilt, anxiety or pain.”
– Todd Erick Pedersen, author of The Sapphire Song
“In this novella Theodore Richards has presented us with a terse, modern parable of the Prodigal Son: a nameless young man returns to the city of his youth to confront the pain of his past, and why he left. Among the weeds, concrete and bitterness lie the seeds to his redemption – to the reader’s redemption – as his journey speaks to the profound spiritual sacrifices life often forces all of us to make. A stunning, poignant debut—a perfect read for the season of renewal!”
– Joanie DiMartino, author of Strange Girls