Farley Mowat

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Farley McGill Mowat, OC (born May 12, 1921) is a conservationist and one of Canada's most widely-read authors.

His works have been translated into 52 languages and he has sold more than 14 million books. He achieved fame with the publication of his books on the Canadian North, such as People of the Deer (1952) and Never Cry Wolf (1963).[1] The latter, an account of his experiences with wolves in the Arctic, was made into a film, released in 1983.

Mowat's advocacy for environmental causes and a writing style that "never let[s] the facts get in the way of the truth,"[2] have earned him both praise and criticism: "few readers remain neutral." Nevertheless, his influence is undeniable: Never Cry Wolf is credited with shifting the mythology and fear of wolves. His stories are fast-paced, gripping, personal, and conversational. Descriptions of Mowat refer to his "commitment to ideals," "poetic descriptions and vivid images," but also to his strong antipathies, which provoke "ridicule, lampoons and, at times, evangelical condemnation."[1]

Contents

Biography

Great grandnephew of Ontario premier Sir Oliver Mowat, Farley McGill Mowat was born on May 12, 1921, in Belleville, Ontario, Canada and grew up in Richmond Hill, Ontario where he attended Richmond Hill High School. His father, Angus Mowat, who fought at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, became a librarian and enjoyed minor success as a novelist. Farley began writing informally while his family lived in Windsor from 1930–1933.

At the height of the Great Depression, the family relocated to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. As a boy, Mowat was fascinated by nature and animals. With his dog, Mutt (the hero of The Dog Who Wouldn't Be, 1957), Mowat explored the Saskatchewan countryside. He also kept a rattlesnake, a gopher, two owls (Owls in the Family 1962), a Florida alligator, several cats, and hundreds of insects as pets. With some of his friends, Mowat created the Beaver Club of Amateur Naturalists and kept a museum in the Mowat basement, which included the joined skull of a two-headed calf, some stuffed birds and a bear cub. This museum eventually had to be moved after an invasion by moths and beetles.

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