This Week in JPL History: Mordecai Richler, “Jacob Twoty and fine Kosher puddings”

One of the most well-known Canadian-Jewish writers, Mordecai Richler came to the Library in 1979 to deliver the Jewish Book Month Keynote Address. His topic was “Writing about Jews”, something he explored in many of his works.

The Jewish Public Library recorded this lecture and through the efforts of the Yiddish Book Centre it, and another of Richler’s JPL lectures, is available online. You can access his lectures through this page. Richler begins speaking at 20:20 of part one of the lecture. As you listen, imagine yourself sitting in the audience as he tells you about the time his name and the title of one of his books was butchered by one radio host. During this lecture Richer also read a chapter from his novel Joshua, Then & Now.

In addition to publishing ten novels, he wrote extensively for newspapers and magazines. He published two works on travel and authored a well-known children’s book series, Jacob Two-Two and the Hooded Fang. Richler’s works explore themes such as Jewish culture and experiences in Montreal during the mid-20th century, as well as Canadian and Quebec nationalism.

Richler stands at the podium while giving the 1979 JBM Keynote address.

The This Week in Jewish Public Library History blog series was made possible through the generous support of the Peter and Ellen Jacobs Virtual Archives Fund.

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