Our Hero regrets omitting Mordecai Richler


I omitted Mordecai Richler from 50 Canadians Who Changed the World. Now I am sorry. I realize that I was wrong.  At a recent promotional event, someone
asked me, “Have you discovered any omissions during this trip across Canada?
Anyone you feel you should have included but did not?”

At the time, I said no. Now, I would have to say

Mordecai Richler (1931-2001) is the Canadian
writer from whom I learned most about writing narrative. Consider only the way
he juggles timelines in St. Urbain’s
Horseman, Joshua Then and Now
,  and Solomon Gursky Was Here.

Richler was a brilliant craftsman. As a novelist, he
worked in the great Jewish tradition of Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer, and Philip
Roth. But he changed the world by adding a Canadian dimension to
that tradition. He changed it, as well, by taking a courageous stand against
ethnic nationalism in Quebec, which culminated in his controversial Oh
Canada, Oh Quebec.

Somewhere, I have a photo of Mordecai and me sharing
a drink at the Palliser Hotel.  Above is a
recent shot, taken by Sheena, of the Palliser bar and the table where we sat.

When I write a sequel, call it Another 50 Canadians Who Changed the World, I will write first about Mordecai Richler. 

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