The Life & Times

Publisher: Vintage Canada
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.

From the Hardcover edition.



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,...
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A 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 fundamentally decent man who worked like a demon at his craft, and who brought the verve and engagement of an essayist to the sometimes aesthetically and tonally narrow world of Canadian literary fiction.”
— Toronto Star

From the Hardcover edition.