Remembering Farley Mowat
Farley Mowat, the Canadian author, died last Wednesday, at the age of 92. I had not heard of him before moving to Canada but now I feel sad that Canada has lost one of its great writers of modern times. I have read three of his books – Cry Wolf, read aloud as the book at bedtime for my oldest daughter, The Desperate People (the follow up to People of the Deer) and A Whale for the Killing. All three are remarkable books with the capacity to make the reader think about nature.
How many authors have had their work debated in Parliament? Not many. People of the Deer was a Canadian sensation and raised awareness about the plight of the aboriginal people in this country. Cry Wolf is simply a beautiful book that appeals to children – it was the first piece of non-fiction I ever read to my daughter at bedtime and we were both fascinated by his stories of the wilderness.
I read a A Whale for the Killing just last year. It’s a stunning account of a trapped whale in Newfoundland and the cruelty it is subjected to. Everyone should read it. Mowat and his wife effectively sacrificed their home and their life in Newfoundland in order to try and save the whale. It’s a book that will make you very, very sad.
There is much to read about Mowat himself since his death, not all of it positive.
- Pamela Anderson on his environmental impact.
- The Globe and Mail’s lengthy tribute including the scandal around the accuracy of his writing.
- Eleven facts about the author.
Signed copies of Mowat’s books are now becoming rather scarce.