Nicholas Evans, the man who whispered to the horses, dies at 72

Nicholas Evans was born in 1950 and died of a heart attack yesterday. He was a man with a star, who left a biography as interesting as successful; with its dose of adventure, with its dose of calm, with its four children: Finlay, Lauren, Max and Harry. He had time to do a lot of things, all related, yes, to the ancient art of storytelling.

Evans grew up in Bromsgrove, a small or large town southwest of Birmingham, and went to study law at Oxford University. He graduated with good grades, but decided to pursue journalism. He started working at Newcastle’s ‘Evening Chronicle’, a local daily which, however, has an illustrious list of former pens, including, for example, Basil Bunting and Mark Knopfler. There is nothing. Maybe it was a sign…

He spent three years in the written press, which he left for television. He was first producer of the program ‘Weekend World’, which analyzed American politics and its relations with the Middle East. He took the opportunity to travel a lot, then he returned his CV: he specialized in the production of documentaries on famous artists and writers, and thus tracked down the adventures of myths like David Hockney, Francis Bacon or Patricia Highsmith. . In 1983, he made one on David Lean, and a beautiful disciple-master relationship was born between them. The director of ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, ‘Doctor Zhivago’ and so many other immortal works is the one who convinced him to make the jump to fiction. It’s funny: stopping to tell the reality has radically changed its reality.

Evans spent ten years dreaming up and producing films for cinema and television, with varying degrees of success. Then came 1993. In the south-east of England, he met a blacksmith who told him about horse whisperers, people capable of healing their traumas, of restoring the gallop to these noble beings. So. Something clicked in his head and he sat down to write. Two years later, he published “The Man Who Whispered to Horses”, which sold more than fifteen million copies worldwide. By the way, a year before the success, she was diagnosed with skin cancer, because life is like that, a swing. Evans had to undergo surgery, but that didn’t stop him from having his book placed. “The day after the operation, I was browsing editorials trying to look polite and normal, but I was in cold sweats, dying, in a lot of pain,” the author recalled in a 2011 interview. .

The novel tells the story of Grace, a woman who suffers a terrible accident in which she loses her best friend and in which her horse is badly injured and ultimately wild: in a desperate attempt to heal him (her) her mother decides to go to Montana to see Tom Booker, a cowboy capable of talking to horses, these very human animals (at least in fiction). The success on paper turned into a cinematic success at the hands of Robert Redford, who starred in and directed the adaptation.

Evans has written four other novels: ‘The Loop’, ‘The Smoke Jumper’, ‘The Gap’ and ‘The Brave One’. He bought a 14th century house in Devon, by the River Dart, and lived there peacefully until the end.

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