Anyone familiar with Wayne’ Dean-Richards’ work will recognise the themes in Money & Blood, chief among them being, as the title suggests, money and blood. The corrupting power of capitalism and its tragic, often violent consequences can be seen throughout the book.
Elsewhere the legacy of abuse is darker still: it’s revenge rather than redemption that motivates the hero of ‘Notes from an Angry Young Man’, for instance, who directs his own ‘great anger’ at society after a lifetime of mistreatment by his alcoholic dad. Such lives are shaped mostly by the past, and an inherited ideology: inherited values, inherited financial constraints, inherited systems of hierarchy and exclusion.
Wayne Dean-Richards may not be an overtly political writer, but it’s hard not to think in political terms when we read his work. The inequities of capitalism, and the values and assumptions that accompany it, frequently underpin the conflicts that drive his fiction. Alienation, alcoholism, broken relationships, diminished self-worth, and mental illness pervade these stories, and the connections between money and blood are everywhere to be seen.
Wayne Dean-Richards has been writing such stories all his life, and few would argue that they feel more relevant now than ever.