Brief Lives

Brief Lives

Book Cover: Brief Lives

by Richard French

An entertainer gets into serious trouble and strives to recover. Decades later, actors stage a play about him.

Bosworth Hooper is an entertainer – a stage magician, stand-up comic, songwriter – who lived in the mid-19th century and got into serious trouble after ambition led him to stray from his vocation.

“Brief Lives” answers the question, “Can Hooper hold together the family he loves and recover his standing in the public eye?”

At the same time, this novel reveals how a theater company in the mid-20th century goes about putting on a play based on the story of Hooper and his wife Grace.

“Brief Lives” proceeds in an unconventional way – with 49 short chapters featuring people involved in this production or interested in it and also two novella-length interludes that explore the story of Hooper and Grace from different angles. The novel is about 140,000 words.

“Brief Lives” examines the persistence of the past and illustrates a common feature of our earthly journeys. We try compensate for the brevity of life and inconveniences that come every day with acts of creativity, which range from ordinary inventiveness to works of surprising originality.

If you like stories about the theater and people struggling back from disgrace, then “Brief Lives” will appeal to you.


About the author

Richard French was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1942. He decided when he was in the 8th grade that fiction writing would be at the center of his life. He has written more than a dozen novels now available on kindle and as print on demand paperback from Amazon's CreateSpace. His website is

After graduating from the University of Chicago, he served in the American army for four years with almost three as a Lao linguist. He has dabbled in the theatre and worked in the banking business in the Boston area. In later life, he served as a pastor of a Lutheran Church-Canada congregation in Sudbury, Ontario. He now lives in Toronto and works part-time at a mid-town congregation.

Zack Pospieszynski designed book covers for his novels. Zack is former director of Toronto's Peak Gallery and is now Program Director, at an innovative gallery called Matter.

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