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First edition cover

Cocksure is a novel by Mordecai Richler. It was first published in 1968 by McClelland and Stewart.

A satirical work, the novel centres on Mortimer Griffin, a middle-class Anglican from Caribou, Ontario who has built a successful career as a publisher and editor in 1960s London, England. When a Hollywood mogul buys Griffin's publishing house, Griffin is suddenly forced to confront the potential impact that not being Jewish may have on his career and his sex life.

In Ninety-nine Novels, Anthony Burgess named Cocksure one of his personal selections for the best novels of the previous four decades. The novel was also selected for competition in the 2006 edition of Canada Reads, where it was championed by comedian Scott Thompson.

The book caused a sensation when it was declared by some as obscene and was banned by W H Smith in Britain as well as by stores in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa.[1]


Cocksure and Richler's contemporaneous essay collection Hunting Tigers Under Glass were jointly awarded the 1968 Governor General's Award (Fiction and Essays). The novel was considered by many critics, however, as an amusing jape rather than serious satire. Writing in The New York Times, Canadian writer Marian Engel called it "smart-alecky stuff [that] doesn't cut any deeper than the Sunday-paper set it's aimed at".[2]

References to notable events and personalities[edit]


  1. ^ Victor J. Ramraj (1987). "Mordecai Richler: Biocritical Essay", University of Calgary
  2. ^ Marian Engel (May 5, 1968), "Wasp from Caribou", The New York Times
  3. ^ Cocksure, McClelland and Stewart, New Canadian Library edition 1996, p.48

External links[edit]