Mordecai Richler

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Mordecai Richler
BirthplaceMontreal, Quebec, Canada
Author, essayist, screenwriter

Richler, Mordecai,

1931–2001, Canadian novelist, b. Montreal. He fled his native city in the early 1950s and lived mainly in London, returning to Canada in 1972 and from then on spending part of his year in London and part in Montreal. Reflecting his youth in that city, Richler's novels are often set within the Canadian Jewish community. Typically, his works skewer provincialism, combining fantastic and wildly comic elements with realistic themes and mingling street-smart sarcasm and ribald wit. The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1959, film 1974), his best-known work, chronicles the ascent to wealth of a poor and fiercely ambitious Jewish youth. His other works include The Acrobats (1954), Cocksure (1968), St. Urbain's Horseman (1971), Joshua Then and Now (1980), Solomon Gursky Was Here (1989), and Barney's Version (1997).

Richler also wrote numerous screenplays, including No Love for Johnnie (1959) and movie versions of his own works. A number of his essays were collected in Notes on an Endangered Species (1974); This Year in Jerusalem (1994) discusses his personal reactions and relationship to Israel. Richler also was a spokesman for the English-speaking population of Quebec, strongly opposing the separatist movement; this position was reflected in his Oh Canada, Oh Quebec (1992). He also wrote several children's books. Winning all of his native country's important literary awards, Richler succeeded in being both an enormously successful icon of Canadian culture and one of its most influential critics.


See studies by G. Woodcock (1970), G. D. Sheps, ed. (1971), A. E. Davidson (1983), V. J. Ramraj (1983), M. Darling, ed. (1986), and R. F. Brenner (1989).

References in periodicals archive ?
Readers of SAJL are likely familiar with the fiction of Mordecai Richler and Anne Michaels, and followers of This American Life will know the work and unmistakable voices of David Rakoff and Jonathan Goldstein--these writers are represented in the pages that follow.
One of the surprising things about Mordecai Richler is that during his life he concealed from his readers what a nice person he was.
Mordecai Richler, one of Canada's most respected and controversial writers, has died after a long battle with cancer, it was announced yeesterday.
Mordecai Richler tells of dropping in at Sardi's in New York.
Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang began as a bedtime story that Canadian author Mordecai Richler used to tell his youngest son.
I'm sorry Mordecai Richler didn't enjoy his book tour--or his lunch with me ("Peddler's Diary" January 1998).
Mordecai Richler, an author not often cited by French-speaking Quebeckers, wrote of the Meech Lake Accord that was reached in 1987 and rejected in 1990: "each Canadian province would now have a role in choosing its senators, which is to say it could reward its own superannuated bagmen and other political nonentities rather than those favoured by Ottawa.
Mordecai Richler, l'auteur si peu cite par les Quebecois francophones, ecrit par exemple au sujet de l'Accord du lac Meech conclu en 1987 et repudie en 1990: <<Chaque province canadienne jouerait maintenant un role dans le choix de ses senateurs, c'est-a-dire qu'elle pourrait recompenser ses propres solliciteurs de fonds pensionnes et autres personnes de peu d'importance au lieu de ceux qui sont favorises par Ottawa.
He also published biographies of his friend George Orwell (1966), Mordecai Richler (1970), Herbert Read (1972), and others.
Mordecai Richler is supposedly doing another book about Duddy, and if he does write it, we'll do it as a movie.
Like Samuel Butler and Mordecai Richler, she often seems perplexed or exasperated by the Canadian psyche:
In his ninth novel, Mordecai Richler makes savage fun of Canada, frontier epics, tall utopian tales, Jewish radicals and parvenus, Scots-Irish power brokers, English anti-semites-even Eskimos.