800 pages, 3.76 × 2.59 × 0.73 in
October 19, 2010
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0676979637
ISBN - 13: 9780676979633
Read from the Book
I—————————THE REBBE AND THE SHAMMAS Of course Rabbi Rosenberg would perform the bris. Who better to welcome the newborn son of Moses and Lily Richler into the covenant? Yudel Rosenberg wasn’t only the family patriarch, who happened to be both a rabbi and a mohel, qualified to do circumcisions; he was the rebbe, as much guru as leader of Montreal’s Hasidic community. They called him the Skaryszewer Illuy, the Genius of Skaryszew. He was a Ba’al Shem, a Master of the Holy Name. Scholar and author, teacher and mystic, Rabbi Rosenberg couldn’t walk down a street in the neighbourhood without people seeking a blessing for their child or a word of comfort for themselves. He couldn’t enter a synagogue without all present standing up out of respect. Nor could the seventy-year-old walk those streets wearing his long beard and fur hat, black coat and white stockings, without also being called a maudit Juif, a damn Jew—or muzhi Zhwiff, to his Yiddish-tuned ears—usually from a passing vehicle. Now semi-retired, the rabbi had suffered a stroke a year before. The illness hadn’t diminished his intellect at all or his stamina by much, but it had left him with muscle tremors. Still, as far as his daughter Lily was concerned, no other mohel need be approached. Five years earlier the rabbi had had a dream in which an old teacher from Poland appeared and declared that Rosenberg’s daughter would bear a son, a child to be named after him. Lily had dutifully called her firstborn Avrum. The same thi
Table of Contents
Preface PART I: MUTTLE, MUTTY, MORDYI. The Rebbe and the Shammas II. The Simchat Torah III. Richler Artificial Stone Works (No Success) IV. 5257 St. Urbain Street V. Battles VI. Wars VII. Comrades VIII. Making Aliyah IX. Room 41 X. Cut/Cutting Loose PART II: APPRENTICEI. The Right Age II. C/O Bar Escandell, San Antonio, Ibiza, Spain III. Girls, Girls, Girls IV. Montreal, Dull and Anaesthetic V. M, The Boy Writer VI. Hampstead Parties VII. General Progress Report VIII. Canadian Club IX. Roquebrune PART III: HORSEMANI. I’ll Show You the World II. Montreal Meteor III. This Year in the Salt Mines IV. Tel Aviv, London, New York V. For My Father VI. Hillcrest, Kingston Hill, Surrey VII. Like Herzog VIII. Sitting Shiva IX. Minority Man X. Swiss Family Richler XI. Rest, Rest, Perturbed Spirit PART IV: LOOK AT ME NOWI. An Affirming Flame II. Return of the Prodigal . . . Again III. Edgehill Road IV. Filthy, Disgusting Fellow V. An Old Jacket, Worn and Torn VI. Dear Maw VII. A Good House VIII. Oh! Canada! PART V: M.R. WAS HEREI. A Very Complex Man II. My Father’s Life III. One’s Intentions Are Always Much Grander IV. The Gursky Family Tree PART VI: HANG IN OLD FRIENDI. Back on the Map II. Things Are Bad Enough without Nastiness from Mordecai RichlerIII. The Golem IV. Richler Calls It V. Keep Fighting. Don’t Despair PART VII: PHILEMON AND BAUCISI. Boyishly Proud II. Two Alter Kockers III. Overtime Epilogue Bibliographic Essays Acknowledgements Photo Credits Permissions on Quoted
From the Publisher
Foran's book is IT: the definitive, detailed, intimate portrait of Mordecai Richler, the lion of Canadian literature, and the turbulent, changing times that nurtured him. It is also an extraordinary love story that lasted half a century.
The first major biography with access to family letters and archives. Mordecai Richler was an outsized and outrageous novelist whose life reads like fiction.
Mordecai Richler won multiple Governor General's Literary Awards, the Giller Prize, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, among others, as well as many awards for his children's books. He also wrote 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.
About the Author
CHARLES FORAN is the author of eight previous books, including the novels Carolan's Farewell and House on Fire, and the award-winning non-fiction work The Last House of Ulster. Born and raised in Toronto, he holds degrees from the University of Toronto and University College Dublin, and has taught at universities in China, Hong Kong and Canada. A former resident of Montreal, where he was a columnist for the Montreal Gazette and reported on Quebec for Saturday Night magazine, he currently resides with his family in Peterborough, Ontario. Of his most recent book, the essay collection Join the Revolution, Comrade, one critic wrote: "Foran takes seriously his role as a writer who's alert and engaged with the world" (Quill & Quire). He has made documentaries for CBC Radio and is a contributing reviewer for the Globe and Mail.
NATIONAL BESTSELLERA Globe and Mail Best Book "A fine, intelligent, deeply historicized, compassionate, insightful, fair-minded and above all loving book."— Adam Gopnik, author of Paris to the Moon and Angels and Ages“It was a full, rich life, and it’s a full, rich book. . . . We judge a man by his life, a writer by his books. Charles Foran has done a thorough and thoughtful job of the first. Time will do the second.” — The Walrus “A massive work that examines this master novelist, wit and public curmudgeon in sympathetic but not uncritical style.” — The Globe and Mail“A comprehensive, panoramic portrait that will stand as the definitive Richler biography. . . . Foran is a master storyteller. . . . Ultimately, in Mordecai, Foran reminds us of how Richler managed to make Canadian culture relevant and sexy to the world.”— The Gazette “The great strength of Mordecai is in the much deeper picture Foran gives of Richler’s relationships. . . . Foran gives a convincing and complex portrait of Richler.”— Winnipeg Free Press “A massive and enthralling biography.” — National Post “The definitive biography of Mordecai Richler. . . . So detailed, so exhaustive, so astute and authoritative. . . . This is a portrait of a dedicated artist who raged against the dying of the light. As I finished the book, I found tears rolling down my cheeks.”— Ken McGoogan, National Post “Easily the most thorough accounting of Richler’s life. . . . An absorbing, sympathetic and often funny account of a funda