In the summer of 1943, a young Canadian infantry lieutenant - who would survive the war to become a world-famous writer - landed on the beaches of Sicily as part of the allied assault on Western Europe. For a year and a half his division fought its way up the Italian "boot" in a series of savage and bloody battles, driving the German army slowly northward. As Farley Mowat saw his comrades killed and maimed in battle, his courage and convictions were sorely tested. But his spirit was sustained, in part, by his powerful relationship with his parents, especially his father, Angus Mowat, a wounded veteran of World War I, whose hundreds of letters combined an instinctive irreverence for authority with an enormous reverence for life - and an infectious belief in the power of the written word.
This book begins where an earlier Mowat book, And No Birds Sang, left off, recreating the later years of the Italian campaign but also intimately portraying the inner life of a very young man who, ardently encouraged by his father, was preparing himself to spend the rest of his life as a writer. This book, a book he hesitated for thirty years to write, recounts the crux of his development. Through original letters and connecting narrative, Mowat captures the shock and despair of war and the giddy exhilaration that followed victory. Many of the stories he relates are vintage Mowat comedy: the short-lived visit to the front lines by a team of dentists; his one-day career as the proprietor of a bar; and his epically unauthorized appropriation, after the armistice, of hundreds of tons of German weaponry, including a V2 rocket, a one-man submarine, and the world's largest tank - all sent home to Canada as national souvenirs.
Perhaps Mowat's most personal work to date, My Father's Son wonderfully evokes innocence, hope, despair, anger, and resolve, annealed by war. Even more wonderfully, it testifies to family loyalty and affection, and it records the enduring love between a father and son.
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FARLEY MOWAT's many books, including NEVER CRY WOLF, SEA OF SLAUGHTER, and BORN NAKED, have delighted young and old alike. They have sold over fourteen million copies worldwide and have been published in fifty-two languages. He lives in Port Hope, Ontario, with his wife, the writer, Claire Mowat.From Library Journal:
In 1940 at the age of 19, Canadian novelist and nonfiction writer Mowat presented himself at the Royal Canadian Air Force recruiting office in Toronto to sign up for World War II. He was rejected as too small. He subsequently made it into the army and in 1942 was sent overseas. Thus began a lively correspondence between Mowat and his would-be novelist father, who worked as a librarian. This book consists mainly of the letters son and father (and sometimes mother) exchanged from 1942 to 1945. It may seem a little late in the day to be producing such a book, but there is something about the volume that keeps one going. The sum total is a graphic picture of the war as seen through the eyes of a sensitive and idealistic young man and a no less sensitive and idealistic father, who was blessed with an ingenious fancy, a sense of humor, and the gift of agreeable patter. For public library collections.
- A.J. Anderson, GSLIS, Simmons Coll., Boston
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Houghton Mifflin, 1993. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110395650291