Published in seventeen countries, Lives of the Saints was the first volume of a trilogy that continued with In a Glass House, hailed as a “genuine achievement” by The New York Times, and Where She Has Gone, nominated for the Giller Prize. The Lives of the Saints trilogy was adapted for a television miniseries starring Sophia Loren and Kris Kristofferson.
Books in Canada commented that Ricci’s trilogy “so amply demonstrates the author’s tremendous talents that we would be foolish as readers not to follow him down whatever road he next chooses to follow.” That road led him to Testament, a fictional retelling of the life of Jesus. Hailed as a “masterpiece” by Saturday Night, Testament was a Booklist Choice for the Top Ten Historical Novels of the Year and a Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year. It was shortlisted for a Commonwealth Prize and for the Roger’s Writers’ Trust Award for Fiction and was a winner of the Trillium Award.
Ricci’s national bestseller The Origin of Species earned him the Canadian Authors Association Fiction Award as well as his second Governor General’s Award for Fiction. Set in Montreal in 1980s, the novel casts a Darwinian eye on the life of Alex Fratarcangeli, who is torn between his baser impulses and his pursuit of the Good. “This novel does so well, on so many levels,” wrote the Toronto Star, “that it’s hard to know where to begin tallying up the riches.”
Ricci is also the author of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, a short biography that forms part of Penguin’s Extraordinary Canadians series, edited by John Ralston Saul. Ricci’s biography, according to HistoryWire, “provides the best, and best written, perspective on Trudeau there is.”
Ricci’s newest novel is Sleep, out in the fall of 2015.