Richard Adams (1920-2016), author of “Watership Down” and “The Plague Dogs,” interviewed in 1978 by Richard Wolinsky.
Richard Adams,died on Christmas Eve, 2016 at the age of 96. Born in 1920, he served as a liaison officer during World War II. Past the age of fifty and a life-long civil servant, Richard Adams began telling stories to his daughters about talking rabbits while on a car trip. The daughters prompted him to turn the stories into a novel. After four failed attempts, a fifth try in 1972 found a publisher and “Watership Down” became an international best-seller and later a beloved classic fantasy. He followed that with “Shardik,” a novel about a giant bear. Along the way, Adams became an advocate against the use of animal testing, which is the subject of his third novel, “The Plague Dogs.”
It was on tour for that third novel upon its American publication in the spring of 1978 that Richard Wolinsky interviewed Richard Adams. Though he’d conducted a handful of interviews with a co-host, this was his first solo shot.
In the interview, Adams discusses his views toward animals, the reason why he wrote “Watership Down,” his use of dialects, and his favorite fantasy books, along with specifics from “The Plague Dogs.” The interview has been digitized, remastered and re-edited for this broadcast. An extended version of this edit can be found as a Radio Wolinsky podcast elsewhere on this website.
Also: A review of “The Madwoman in the Volvo” at Berkeley Rep.