Morley Torgov was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. He completed a BA at the University of Toronto and was called to the bar. He has practised law ever since.
His first “professional” writing was a Boy Scouts column for the Sault Daily Star at the age of twelve. At sixteen, he became a reporter for the newspaper. In the late 60s, he wrote several plays for CBC television and radio.
Torgov’s first book, A Good Place to Come From, was published by Lester & Orpen in 1974. It was awarded the Leacock Medal for Humour. Four episodes from the book were produced by the CBC as a miniseries. It has also been adapted into three plays in the United States by well known playwright Israel Horovitz. The plays are still staged at regional theatres across the continent.
His second book, The Abramsky Variations, a novel, was published in 1977 and was also released internationally. Torgov’s second novel, The Outside Chance of Maximilian Glick, came out in 1982 and also received the Leacock Medal. It has achieved the status of a true Canadian classic. Torgov’s own reading of the book won the inaugural Torgi award from the Canadian National Institute for the Blind in 1984.
This success was followed by St. Farb’s Day, another novel, in 1990, which won the City of Toronto Book Award and the Jewish Book Award for fiction. The War to End All Wars, a novel, followed in 1998.
Torgov was written numerous essays that have been published, as well as articles for the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. In 1990, he received an honorary doctorate of literature from Laurentian University. In 2005 he received the Order of Mariposa, a lifetime recognition from the Leacock Society.
Morley Torgov lives with his wife of fifty-four years. He has two children and four grandchildren. Murder in A-major is the beginning of a new mystery fiction series, featuring Inspetor Hermann Preiss, with RendezVous Crime.
Photo courtesy Ian Pool and Christina Kufner
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