Author Mortimer Richter Hoping Richler's Passing Will Lead to an Increase in his Sales
Upon the death of Canadian literary icon and world renowned writer
Mordecai Richler on July 3, lesser known Canadian novelist Mortimer
Richter is predicting an increase in both interest and sales of
|Mordecai Richler: 1931-2001 / CanLit's next big thing, Mortimer Richter
"Richler's passing is most unfortunate, and my sympathies
do go out to his family-a true, true genius indeed
at the same time, I do have some bills to pay, you know
said a suddenly animated Richter while rubbing his thumb against
With Richler's death generating a fevered interest in his books
from Canadians reminded of his existence by his death, his material
is flying off the shelves in bookstores across Canada. Four people
were injured in a scuffle over the final remaining copy of Cocksure
at a Saskatoon book store last week. Libraries are reporting waiting
lists of months for anything with Richler's name on it, with library
staff reportedly taking bribes in order to assure extended loans
of Richler novels and essays.
Given the alphabetical proximity of his name to Richler, Richter
predicts that readers who have developed a sudden insatiable hunger
for Richler's books-only to wind up disappointed by the absence
of inventory-will instead take notice of Richter's breadth of work.
This includes titles such as 1961's Duddy Kamensky: Learning
the Hard Way, a coming-of-age tale of a flawed yet likeable
rogue's passage into adulthood in Sudbury, Ontario.
Professor Selma Jacoby of the University of Corner Brook Faculty
of Canadian Literature is confident that Richter's books will most
certainly be conveniently shelved "very, very close" to
where one would regularly find Richler's books.
Vancouver-based book critic Noah Crimson elaborated on the potential
spike in Richter's sales:
"The pig-ignorant, trendy types, shallow, semi-literate 20-somethings
looking to get laid and those feeling guilty about never reading
a book by Richler, or any other Canadian author for that matter,
might mistake Richter for Richler in their frenzied desire to get
anything with Richler's name on it."
"It could be quite easy for the uninitiated to confuse Barney's
Version (the Giller prize winner that what Richler's last novel),
with Richter's most recent book, Marnie's Version."
The author of 1982's "classic" (Richter's words) Then
and Again, Joshua is jubilant with his prospects, suggesting
the "Richler gravy train" at Chapters and any other book
retailers remaining in Canada is sure to last for at least the next
month, "which could mean no more defaulting on the mortgage
payments for myself and my publisher, who coincidentally, also happens
to be me," said Richter.
"Thank God for the practice of alphabetical listing. If it's
good enough for Earl Hemmingwayne, it's good enough for me."
Posted on July 13th, 2001