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Mordecai Richler
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    (January 27, 1931-June 3, 2001)
    Born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Contributor to 'Atlantic Monthly,' 'Look,' 'The New Yorker,' the National Post and the Montreal Gazette
    Wrote the novels 'The Apprenticeship of Dudley Kravitz' (1959), 'The Incomparable Atuk' (1963), 'Cocksure' (1968), 'Joshua Then and Now' (1980), 'Solomon Gursky Was Here' (1989) and 'Barney's Version' (1997)
    Wrote the short story collection 'The Street' (1969)
    Wrote the 'Jacob Two-Two' series of children's books
    He complained about his early success, saying 'Novelist friends of mine who had to wait longer to publish can now draw on jobs they hated, the things they had to do to get by for years, and I haven't got that because I've been writing all this time.'
    He linked the separatist Parti Quebecois with Nazism, noting that they had adopted the Hitler Youth song 'Tomorrow Belongs To Me' as their anthem.
    There were two minor problems with the claim: (1) the Parti Quebecois anthem is a completely different song; (2) 'Tomorrow Belongs To Me' is not a Nazi anthem, but was written for the Broadway musical 'Cabaret' in 1960.
    The New York Times noted that over his career, he 'managed to offend nearly everyone in some way.'
    The unproduced film version of his 'The Incomparable Atuk' developed a reputation as a cursed project, with John Belushi, Sam Kinison, John Candy and Chris Farley all dying after expressing interest in starring in it.
    He was one of the first Canadian writers widely recognized outside of Canada.
    His satire of the sexual revolution, 'Cocksure,' was both banned as 'truly dirty' by Britain's leading bookstore chain and awarded Canada's top literature prize, The Governor General's Award.
    He received death threats after attacking the Quebec separatist movement in 'Oh Canada! Oh Quebec!' (1992), with one Francophone journalist telling his son, 'If your father was here, I'd make him relive the holocaust right now.'
    Asked how he wanted his obituary to read, he replied, 'Yesterday the world mourned the passing of devastatingly handsome, incomparably talented Mordecai Richler, taken from us in his prime, aged 969.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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