Farley Mowat

From Academic Kids

Farley Mowat O.C. (born May 12, 1921) is a Canadian novelist and non-fiction author.

He grew up in Saskatoon and, having an immense love for animals, kept birds and an alligator inside his house. He wrote many works of non-fiction on subjects such as nature, archaeology and Inuit life.

During the Second World War, Mowat served as an officer with the Hastings and Prince Edwards Regiment of the Canadian Army. He was amongst the first to land in Operation Husky, the Allied invasion of Sicily, and served with the Canadian forces amongst the D-Day Dodgers for the rest of their contribution to the Italian campaign. In 1945 he worked as an intelligence agent in The Netherlands and went through enemy lines to start unofficial negotiations about food drops with General Blaskowitz. The food drops, under the codename Operation Manna, saved thousands of Dutch lives.

In 1981 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. Four years later he was refused entry to the United States, having been put on a list as an undesirable alien, and retaliated by writing a book about this experience entitled My Discovery of America.

Impact

More than any other identifiable individual, Mowat has been responsible for the remarkable sea-change in popular attitudes towards the wolf species. Using a blend of fiction and observation he wrote an accessible portrait of the social relations in a wolf pack in his Never Cry Wolf, which did irreparable damage to the image of the wolf as a projection of human fears of our own darkest proclivities. While sometimes whimsical and even Disney-esque, the portrait was a real start in bringing an ethological (viewing non-humans in their own terms) view of wolves to the public.

Criticism

Some of the articles written about him are not positive. The Toronto Star has written that he bases his stories on fiction and avoids the truth. Once, when Mowat said that he has spent two summers and a winter studying wolves, the Toronto Star wrote that Mowat had only spent 90 hours studying the wolves.

Writings by Farley Mowat

  • People of the Deer (1952; revised 1975) ISBN 0891908188
  • The Regiment (1955)
  • Lost in the Barrens (1956) ISBN 0553275259
  • The Dog Who Wouldn't Be (1957) ISBN 0553279289
  • Coppermine Journey: An Account of a Great Adventure (1958)
  • Grey Seas Under: The Perilous Rescure Missions of a North Atlantic Salvage Tug (1959)
  • The Desperate People (1959; revised 1999)
  • Ordeal by Ice (1960)
  • Owls in the Family (1961)
  • The Serpent's Coil: An Incredible Story of Hurricane-Battered ships the Heroic Men Who Fought to Save Them (1961)
  • The Black Joke (1962)
  • Never Cry Wolf (1963) filmed in 1983
  • West Viking (1965)
  • The Curse of the Viking Grave (1966)
  • Canada North (1967)
  • The Polar Passion (1967)
  • This Rock Within the Sea: A Heritage Lost (1968)
  • The Boat Who Wouldn't Float (1969) ISBN 055327788X
  • Sibir: My Discovery of Siberia (1970)
  • World of Farley Mowat (1970)
  • A Whale for the Killing (1972)
  • Tundra: Selections from the Great Accounts of Arctic Land Voyages (1973)
  • Wake of the Great Sealers (1973)
  • The Snow Walker (1975) ISBN 0770422098 filmed in 2003
  • Canada North Now: The Great Betrayal (1976)
  • And No Birds Sang (1979)
  • My Discovery of America (1985) ISBN 0871130505
  • Virunga: The Passion of Dian Fossey (1987)
  • Woman in the Mists: The Story of Dian Fossey (1987)
  • The New Founde Land (1989)
  • My Father's Son (1993)
  • Born Naked (1994) ISBN 0395735289
  • Aftermath: Travels in a Post-War World (1995)
  • Sea of Slaughter (1996)
  • Rescue the Earth!: Conversations with the Green Crusaders (1998)
  • The Farfarers: Before the Norse (2000) ISBN 1883642566
  • Walking on the land (2000) ISBN 1586420240
  • High Latitudes: An Arctic Journey (2002) ISBN 1586420615de:Farley Mowat
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