Books·Canadian

Mordecai

Charles Foran's exploration of Mordecai Richler's life won the Governor General's Literary Award for nonfiction and the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize in 2011.

Charles Foran

Foran's book is a definitive, detailed, intimate portrait of Mordecai Richler, the lion of Canadian literature, and the turbulent, changing times that nurtured him. It is also the first major Richler biography with access to family letters and archives.

Mordecai Richler was an outsized and outrageous novelist whose life reads like fiction. He won multiple Governor General's Literary Awards, the Giller Prize and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, among others, as well as many awards for his children's books and Oscar-nominated screenplays. His influence was larger than life in Canada and abroad. In Mordecai, award-winning novelist and journalist Charlie Foran brings to the page the richness of Mordecai's life as young bohemian, irreverent writer, passionate and controversial Canadian, loyal friend and deeply romantic lover. He explores Mordecai's distraught childhood, and gives us the "portrait of a marriage" — the lifelong love affair with Florence, with Mordecai as beloved father of five. The portrait is alive and intimate — warts and all. (From Vintage Canada)

Mordecai: The Life & Times won both the Governor General's Literary Award for nonfiction and the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction in 2011.

From the book

A kid from the streets of Montreal, Richler could never be, and never wished to be, anything other than a strong, slightly intimidating presence. The highest praise he could accord an individual was to declare him or her an "original." The highest attribute an "original" could possess was "appetite." Appetite meant lust, longing, drive, and ambition. Appetite also meant unashamed fullness of character. It also tended to disavow tidiness as being for the meek, the small. A devotee of shaded characters in his novels — the lively scoundrel over the boring nice guy — he transferred this preference into life, seeking, for the most part, the company of the strong, the interesting, the intriguing. No surprise, much of this reflected his sense of himself. 


From Mordecai by Charles Foran © 2010. Published by Vintage Canada.

Interviews

Randy Boyagoda reviews "Mordecai: The Life & Times" by Charles Foran. 11:33

Other books by Charles Foran

now