Home Sweet Home: My Canadian Album
'Canadians of my generation were conditioned to believe that the world happened elsewhere.' So at the tender age of nineteen Mordecai Richler left Canada to live and work in Europe. Now famous on both sides of the Atlantic for his comic novels - from The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz to St Urbain's Horseman, Cocksure and Joshua Then and Now - he writes here of the country which he once again calls Home: the country that indelibly shaped his life and honed his comic gifts. He takes us from Toronto bars to the Yellowknife Golf Club (devoid of grass) just below the Arctic Circle, from Winnipeg, capital of Manitoba ('On entering the legislature, one is immediately confronted by two enormous buffalo') and back to that fateful day when the Russians invaded and captured Canada's own national sport - hockey. ('Nothing was ever the same again in Canada. Beer didn't taste as good. The Rockies seemed smaller, the northern lights dimmer.') He makes us understand the tensions between French and English Canadians, the controversial (and, so far, failed) separatist movement, the pain and the hilarity of the language war (the day, for example, Montreal police seized a cache not of heroin or cocaine but of 15,000 Dunkin' Donuts bags - because they weren't bilingual).