Fun Facts Friday: Mordecai Richler

January 27, 2023

Mordecai Richler (27 January, 1931 – 3 July, 2001) was an award-winning Canadian writer and journalist. He is known for his novels, usually about the Jewish experience in Canada, and his children’s fantasy series Jacob Two-Two.

Fun Facts Friday: Mordecai Richler
Books by Mordecai Richler*

Fun Facts about Mordecai Richler:

  1. Mordecai Richler was born in Montréal, Quebec to an Orthodox Jewish family. His father Moses Isaac, a scrap metal dealer, and his wife Lily.
  2. As a young man, Mr. Richler learned English, French, as well as Yiddish. He studied in college but did not complete his degree.
  3. By the time he was 19 years old, the young man went off to Europe to experience the writer’s life (following the footsteps of the 1920s Lost Generation a term introduced by Gertrude Stein, which included F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, T. S. Eliot and more). He experienced in Spain, and Paris, but decided to settle in London.
  4. In 1954, still in London, Mordecai Richler became a published author when The Acrobats came out. The book was well-received and published in several countries.
  5. The next year he published two more books. 1955’s Son of a Smaller Hero managed to anger much of his family in MontrĂ©al, as well as a good part of the Jewish community in the city for good measure.
  6. By 1959, the author wrote one of Canada’s first important novels, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. The novel won him acclaim around the world; however, it didn’t soften the attitude of Jews in MontrĂ©al towards Mr. Richler.
  7. Later on, in the 1970s, Mordecai Richler started taking more time between writing his novels, filling his time with journalism, editing, and writing a successful children’s book. He generated a lot of controversy with his essays on antisemitism and nationalism.
  8. Critics said that Mordecai Richler was “not one of us” or a “real” Quebecer, while others misquoted his work, inadvertently proving his antisemitism criticism.
  9. His children’s books about Jacob Two-Two quickly became a beloved children’s character and a Canadian classic.
  10. Around the same time, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz which was taught in Canadian high schools, was turned into a successful film, marking the rise of English Canadian movies.

Books by Mordecai Richler*

Zohar – Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

Sources:

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Fun Facts Friday: Mordecai Richler
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Fun Facts Friday: Mordecai Richler
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Mordecai Richler (27 January, 1931 – 3 July, 2001) was an award-winning Canadian writer and journalist. He is known for his novels, usually about the Jewish experience in Canada, and his children’s fantasy series Jacob Two-Two.
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