A colony of Canadian and American writers and filmmakers, exiled by McCarthyist witch-hunts at home, find themselves in London, England, where they evolve a society every bit as merciless, destructive, and close-minded as that from which they have fled. The bonds of the group are strained when Norman Price, an academic turned hack writer, befriends an enigmatic German refugee. Ostracized by his colleagues, Norman soon perceives how easily conviction devolves into tyranny. Believing that “all alliances are discredited,” he enters a moral nightmare in which his choice of enemies is no longer clear. With relentless irony and biting accuracy, Mordecai Richler maps out a surreal territory of doubt, describing not only one man’s personal dilemma but the moral condition of modern society.
Mordecai Richler was born in Montreal in 1931. Among his most successful novels are The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, St. Urbain’s Horseman, Solomon Gursky Was Here, and Barney’s Version. He died in 2001.
“The most versatile and prolific Canadian writer of his time.” –Robert Fulford
“[Richler’s] words land on the pages like manna, he is patriarch of the cutting line and everything he touches turns into a good read.” –London Free Press
“He is a ringmaster, making his performers do dazzling backflips without missing a beat.” –Time
“Richler has a style which can drip irony, and is unique and memorable.” –Edmonton Journal
“There is no other writer…who can so deftly deploy pure dialogue to create such rich atmosphere of period and place.…He is such a terrific storyteller.…” –Montreal Gazette