Richard was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and immigrated to Canada with his family a few short months before Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in 1990. Richard trained as a filmmaker and fine artist at Montreal’s Concordia University and has produced and directed numerous short films, music videos and commercials. He has been nominated for five Much Music Video Awards.
Now a full-time writer, Richard can be found learning to play polo, chasing Big Game in Africa, investigating German sub-sub cultures in Namibia, eating at TGI Fridays in the Middle East, bowling in Kazakhstan, racing Mercedes sports sedans in Russia – for a whole bunch of different publications. He’s often on CBC Radio, less often on CBC Television, and is the editor-at-large for indie graphic novel publisher Pop Sandbox.
His first book was the highly acclaimed Ja, No, Man: Growing Up White in Apartheid-Era South Africa (Penguin, 2007); his follow-up, entitled The Sheikh’s Batmobile: In Pursuit of American Pop-Culture in the Muslim World (Soft Skull, 2010), is out now. Richard has also written the experimental journalistic graphic novel Kenk: A Graphic Portrait (Pop Sandbox, 2010). Ja, No, Man was longlisted for the Alan Paton Non-Fiction prize, shortlisted for the University of Johannesburg Literary Award and voted one of the Top-10 books of 2007 by Now Magazine. Richard has won South Africa’s Media-24 Best Feature Writing Award and a National Magazine Award in Canada.