Richler, Mordecai


Richler, Mordecai
born Jan. 27, 1931, Montreal, Que., Can.
died July 3, 2001, Montreal

Canadian novelist.

He grew up in a Jewish working-class neighbourhood in which many of his novels are set. In 1951–52 he lived in Paris, where he was influenced by existentialism; he later lived in England. The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1959) is a bawdy account of a Jewish boy in Montreal and his transformation into a ruthless businessman. His later novels include Joshua Then and Now (1980) and Solomon Gursky Was Here (1989). He also wrote children's books featuring the character Jacob Two-Two.

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▪ 2002

      Canadian writer (b. Jan. 27, 1931, Montreal, Que.—d. July 3, 2001, Montreal), was celebrated for his vivid, boldly satiric portraits of the haves and have-nots of his native Quebec. His wickedly acerbic novels and essays often garnered outrage from offended parties (of which there were many) while consistently earning him critical acclaim. Born the son of a Jewish scrap-metal merchant in the largely Francophone province of Quebec, Richler considered himself “a minority within a minority” and continually returned to the examination of his experiences as such in his writings. After two years of study at Sir George Williams University in Montreal, Richler abandoned school to cultivate his dream of becoming a novelist and moved to Paris. His first novel, The Acrobats (1954), told the story of disillusioned expatriates in Spain à la Ernest Hemingway; Richler subsequently disowned this book owing to its lack of maturity. He spent the next several years in London, where he continued to produce novels and work as a freelance for various media publications. His first major recognition came with the publication of The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1959), a coming-of-age story of a shrewd, street-smart young Jewish man making a way for himself in postwar Montreal; a literary success before it became a commercial one, the novel was made into a major motion picture in 1974. The film's screenplay (written by Richler) was nominated for an Academy Award. His next book to win critical acclaim was Cocksure (1968), a racy portrait of life in 1960s London; though banned in some places, it won the Canadian Governor General's Award. Richler won that award a second time for St. Urbain's Horseman (1971). That book was also short-listed for the Booker Prize, as was a later book, Solomon Gursky Was Here (1989). In 1972 Richler moved back to Montreal with a wife and children in tow; his popular children's books chronicling the adventures of Jacob Two-Two developed out of the stories Richler made up to entertain his own children. Richler remained primarily in Montreal for the rest of his life, continuing simultaneously to delight and dismay in fiction and in fact. He contributed essays on various political concerns to leading publications and was most notably a stringent opponent of Quebec's anti-English language laws. His last book of fiction, Barney's Version, appeared in 1997, and Mordecai Richler on Snooker was published posthumously.

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▪ Canadian novelist
born January 27, 1931, Montreal, Canada
died July 3, 2001, Montreal
 prominent Canadian novelist whose incisive and penetrating works explore fundamental human dilemmas and values.

      Richler attended Sir George Williams University, Montreal (1950–51), then lived in Paris (1951–52), where he was influenced and stimulated by Existentialist authors. Returning to Canada (1952), Richler published the novel The Acrobats (1954). Set in Spain, it deals with the experiences of a young Canadian painter with a group of disillusioned expatriates and revolutionaries. Shortly afterward, Richler settled in England. He returned to Montreal in the 1970s. His subsequent novels, which manifest evidence of the poverty and anti-Semitism he experienced during his early years, include Son of a Smaller Hero (1955) and A Choice of Enemies (1957), both dealing with angry, confused modern heroes; The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1959), a bawdy and sometimes farcical account of a Jewish boy in Montreal and his transformation into a ruthless and amoral businessman, which was made into a film from his screenplay in 1974; and The Incomparable Atuk (1963), which contains amusing descriptions of the powerful men who control the communications industries. Cocksure (1968) is concerned with an American attempt to take over a British publishing house. St. Urbain's Horsemen (1971) concerns a Canadian director's trial for sodomy and assault in London. Richler's books, which were noted for their honesty and biting satire, often caused much controversy. Other works include a collection of humorous essays, Notes on an Endangered Species and Others (1974); a children's book, Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang (1975); and the novels Joshua Then and Now (1980), Solomon Gursky Was Here (1989), and Barney's Version (1998). Richler was awarded the Order of Canada in 1999.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • RICHLER, MORDECAI — (1931–2001), Canadian author. Richler s satiric portrayal of Montreal s Jewish Main gained both prominence and notoriety in 1955 with the publication of his second novel, Son of a Smaller Hero. Published in Britain, this slim, young man s novel… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Richler, Mordecai — (27 ene. 1931, Montreal, Quebec, Canadá–3 jul. 2001, Montreal). Novelista canadiense. Creció en un barrio judío de clase trabajadora, en un ambiente parecido al que describen muchas de sus novelas. En 1951–52, vivió en París, donde asimiló la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Richler, Mordecai — (b. 1931)    Canadian writer. Richler was born in Montreal, but travelled widely in Europe as a young man. His best known novel, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1959), which tells the story of the ruthless financial rise of a young Jewish… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Richler,Mordecai — Rich·ler (rĭchʹlər), Mordecai. Born 1931. Canadian writer whose novels, based on his working class Jewish background, include The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1959) and Saint Urbain s Horseman (1971). * * * …   Universalium

  • Richler, Mordecai — (b. 1931)    Canadian novelist and journalist. He was born in Montreal, and moved to London in the 1950s. His Son of a Smaller Hero and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz depict Jewish life in Montreal. In later novels he contrasted Jewish and… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Mordecai Richler — Born January 27, 1931(1931 01 27) Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Died July 3, 2001(2001 07 03) (aged 70)[1] Occupation …   Wikipedia

  • Richler — Mordecai Richler Mordecai Richler (27 janvier 1931 – 3 juillet 2001) était un auteur et un scénariste canadien (québécois). Né et élevé dans le Mile End (rue Saint Urbain) à Montréal, au Québec, il fréquenta l’Université Sir… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Richler — Mordecai Richler (* 27. Januar 1931 in Montreal; † 3. Juli 2001 ebenda) war ein kanadischer Schriftsteller, Drehbuchautor und Essayist. Zu Lebzeiten gehörte er zu den bekanntesten kanadischen Schriftstellern weltweit. In Kanada selbst war er… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • RICHLER (M.) — RICHLER MORDECAI (1931 ) Né à Montréal où il s’est établi après de longues années en Europe (1959 1972), Mordecai Richler s’est surtout consacré, dans les très nombreux ouvrages qu’il a publiés depuis 1954, à peindre les milieux juifs d’Europe… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Mordecai Richler — Mordecai Richler, CC (* 27. Januar 1931 in Montreal; † 3. Juli 2001 ebenda) war ein kanadischer Schriftsteller, Drehbuchautor und Essayist. Zu Lebzeiten gehörte er zu den bekanntesten kanadischen Schriftstellern weltweit. In Kanada selbst war er… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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