Friday, May 9, 2014

Good Bye Farley

         Farley Mowat , a prominent and prolific Canadian writer, died yesterday at age 92. He wrote 42 books that were published in 52 languages and sold 17 million copies.

         I first discovered Farley Mowat when I was 12 and read People of the Deer and I was hooked. I loved the north at that time, and Farley just made me that much more fascinated with the topic.

         Farley Mowat wrote on a wide variety of topics but his home base was on environmental issues. Farley was passionate about environmental issues and never found an underdog he couldn't like.

      Mowat was a colorful character. He was passionate in defending his favorite causes. As a result he could argue vehemently to support an issue. His first northern books were ahead of their time and pointed out that Eskimo populations were in great danger. Feisty is another word the aptly describes Farley. 

     Because of Mowat's outspoken tendencies, he had a few people who did not see eye to eye with him. Mowat had his critics. Mowat had a tendency in his writing to exaggerate. He admitted to using exaggeration. Some critics took it upon themselves to argue with him. Farley was at his best when he was in a battle royal. People who considered themselves experts on a topic criticized Farley on his understanding of a topic. Farley wanted to use a topic to advance and issue. He was a master at moving issues along.

     I read 11 of Mowat's books. I enjoyed every one of them. I still have 31 more of his books to read. 

     I read his first book People of the Deer. Next , I found Desperate People. I also read Lost in the Barrens. So I read his 3 northern books first. Owls in the family and The dog Who Wouldn't Be were humorous stories for young readers , but I enjoyed them too. Never Cry Wolf sticks out because it was made into a movie. Grey Sees Under, the Black Joke and the Boat Who Wouldn't Float were about the sea. The last book I read was Walking on the land.

     Farley Mowat's books won many awards. Farley also won personal awards such as the Order of Canada. They were well deserved.

    We were fortunate to have Farley Mowat pass our way and leave us with many stories.