The Stone Thrower by Jael Ealey Richardson
A Daughter's Lessons, A Father's Life

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In Ealey Richardson’s valuable addition to the body of memoirs about family and identity, there is much to be discovered about fathers and daughters...
-National Post arts

Synopsis

A daughter discovers herself while uncovering her father’s legendary past in football.

At the age of thirty, Jael Ealey Richardson travelled with her father – former CFL quarterback Chuck Ealey – for the first time to a small town in southern Ohio for his fortieth high school reunion. Knowing very little about her father’s past, Richardson was searching for the story behind her father’s move from the projects of Portsmouth, Ohio to Canada’s professional football league in the early 1970s. At the railroad tracks where her father first learned to throw with stones, Jael begins an unexpected journey into her family’s past.

In this engaging father-daughter memoir, Richardson records some of her father’s never-before told stories: his relationship with his absentee father, memories of his high school and college football victories – including a winning record that remains unbroken to this day – and his up-and-down relationship with the woman he would one day marry.

As Richardson begins unravelling the story of her father’s life, she begins to compare her own childhood growing up in Canada, with her father’s US civil rights era upbringing. Along the way, she also discovers the real reason – despite his athletic accomplishments – her father was never drafted into the National Football League.

The Stone Thrower is a moving story about race and destiny written by a daughter looking for answers about her own black history. Using insightful interviews, archival records and her personal reflections, Richardson’s journey to learn about her father’s past leads her to her own important discoveries about herself, and what it really means to be black in Canada.

 

About Jael Ealey Richardson

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Jael Ealey Richardson grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, in a predominately white neighbourhood where writing took a backseat to athletics--until she stumbled upon a playwriting class at university. An excerpt of her work is published in T-Dot Griots: An Anthology of Toronto's Black Storytellers. With an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph, Richardson's writing continues to reflect the rumblings of her African-American ancestry. She currently lives in Brampton, Ontario.
 
Published August 29, 2012 by Thomas Allen Publishers. 256 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors.
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Critic reviews for The Stone Thrower
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Lawrence Hill on Nov 16 2012

In Ealey Richardson’s valuable addition to the body of memoirs about family and identity, there is much to be discovered about fathers and daughters...

Read Full Review of The Stone Thrower: A Daughter... | See more reviews from National Post arts

National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Lawrence Hill on Nov 16 2012

Ultimately, The Stone Thrower is as much a meditation on a daughter’s emerging sense of identity in Canada as it is a father-daughter memoir. The two threads are inextricably linked, one enriching the other.

Read Full Review of The Stone Thrower: A Daughter... | See more reviews from National Post arts

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