In Memoriam: Farley Mowat

Farley Mowat

In my email this morning was a message with the ominous-sounding subject line, “In celebration of Farley Mowat.” Since Farley Mowat is one of my favorite writers and someone I hoped to meet some day, I didn’t like the sound of it. Farley Mowat is one of Canada’s best-loved and sometimes most controversial authors. And on May 7, he died in Port Hope, Ontario just a few days before his 93rd birthday.

The Globe and Mail obituary has a detailed account of Mowat’s life and work and will help readers understand the impact he’s had on the Canadian government and its policies on native peoples and the environment. The New York Times obituary is more concise, but nicely sums up Farley Mowat’s contributions to literature and society.

Farley Mowat is probably best known for two books. The first is Never Cry Wolf, where he embellishes on the study he conducted in the late 1940s when the Canadian government sent him to investigate the decline of the caribou population. His book paints a very different picture of wolf behavior from what the authorities had in mind. The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be is probably his best-loved book and memorializes his endearing childhood companion, Mutt, who never figures out that he’s a dog.

Since Mowat wrote for both children and adults, Andersen Library has quite a few of his books in the the Main and Curriculum Collections.

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