Montreal author, columnist, wit, man about town, and scourge of Quebec separatists, Mordecai Richler is dead.

Richler passed away the day after Canada Day, July 2nd. He was best known for his novel “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz.” He also wrote the screenplay of the same name and earned an Academy Award for it. He gained notoriety in Quebec when he published a harsh critique of the province’s language laws in The New Yorker magazine.

Richler was born and grew up in 1930’s Montreal. His experiences on St.

Urbain Street provided fodder for his brilliant novels, St. Urbain’s Horseman, Joshua Then and Now, Barney’s Version and others.

His razor sharp wit, which he used on any who were unfortunate enough to cross him, will be missed. Quebec politicians were “twits.” Native writers were “aboriginal good spellers.” But Richler was fair and ridiculed himself as being, “famous internationally, all across Canada.”

Mordecai Richler was 70 years old. He died of cancer.