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Jacob Two-Two

Makes a comeback, courtesy of another Canadian

Sara Ivry
August 19, 2009

Though he’s been dead for eight years, Canadian writer Mordecai Richler is coming back to life—sort of—this fall. Jacob Two-Two on the High Seas, the fourth installment in Richler’s wildly successful kids’ series about a boy who has to repeat himself in order to be heard above the din of his large family, hits bookstores in September. The catch? Richler didn’t write it. Novelist Cary Fagan did.

According to Publishers Weekly, Richler, the author of such adult classics as The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, started thinking about a fourth adventure in the series before he fell ill in 2001 (his initial idea for the fourth book, revolving around a stolen Stanley Cup, was nixed for its unlikely appeal beyond hockey-mad Canada). After his death, his family told his publisher, Tundra, they wanted the series to continue and Tundra set out to find a suitable writer. Fagan, who similarly writes fiction for adults and children said at first he “was a bit flabbergasted by the proposal, and unnerved and excited.… Richler is, in Canada, a very big figure. And for a writer who is Jewish, like me, he looms even larger.”

Meantime, filming has begun on an adaptation of Barney’s Version, Richler’s final novel, about a man with Alzheimer’s; it stars Paul Giamatti and Dustin Hoffman.

Sara Ivry is the host of Vox Tablet, Tablet Magazine’s weekly podcast. Follow her on Twitter@saraivry.