remarkably versatile and very unlikely writer joined the ranks of humankind
12, 1921. Farley Mowat, author of books on history, young
adult novels, and nonfiction about the people and animals of Canada, was born in Belleville, Ontario, and grew up on the Canadian prairie.
By the time he was 13, he was going off alone on 30-mile snowshoe trips
across the Saskatchewan plains. He founded a nature magazine called
Nature Lore, and he later wrote a nature column called "Prairie Pals"
for the local newspaper.
he was 18, he went off to Italy to serve in World War II, where he began
writing books. One day, while sitting in an armored vehicle, listening
to the bullets and grenades explode around him, he said he felt "a sense
of revulsion against my own species." To ease his mind, he wrote about
his dog back home. He said, "I went back to the only safe place in my
mind—my childhood. It was my escape, and it saved my bloody life."
The book became The Dog Who Wouldn't Be, and it was published in
is best known for his books about the Canadian Arctic and the Far
North, which he writes with humor, understanding, and compassion.. In
the summer of 1947, he took a job with the Canadian government as a
biologist in the Northwest Territories. His assignment was to write
about wolves and their effect on the caribou population. He learned
that wolves weren't to blame for the dwindling caribou population,
but rather fur trappers. He wrote about his ordeal in Never Cry Wolf (1963). It became a bestseller in North America, as well as
in Russia, where the government banned the slaughter of wolves based upon
1949, the author has lived in or visited almost every part of Canada and
many other lands, including the distant regions of Siberia. He once
said of himself, "I am a Northern Man...I like to think I am a reincarnation
of the Norse saga men and, like them, my chief concern is with the tales of
men, and other animals, living under conditions of natural adversity."
Mowat went on to research the fishermen off Newfoundland,
whom he found delightfully untouched by human progress. He wrote a
book about his experiences there called A Whale for the Killing.
"They were the best of people, and I promised myself that
I would come and live among them and escape from the increasingly
mechanistic mainland world with its March Hare preoccupation with
witless production for mindless consumption; its disruptive
infatuation with change for its own sake; its idiot dedication to
the bitch goddess, Progress." - from A Whale for the Killing
Mowat's 38 books have been published in 24 languages and
have sold more than 14 million copies throughout the world.
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