Leaving a Legacy: Canadian Author Farley Mowat Passes Away

RIP Farley Mowat

Celebrated Canadian Author Farley Mowat. Photo Source: By Tabercil (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), via Wikimedia Commons

It’s a sad day in literary land as beloved Canadian author Farley Mowat passed away today at the age of 92. He was easily one of the best known writers in Canada and this BC gal will miss the storyteller. He leaves quite a legacy for readers around the world.

The Written Works of Farley Mowat

If you’re not familiar with this writer, perhaps his best known books include his autobiography “Never Cry Wolf” and “Lost in the Barrens.” In 1983, “Never Cry Wolf” was adapted for film and kept the original title; it starred seasoned actor Brian Dennehy, amongst others.

I remember watching the movie “Never Cry Wolf” on VHS tape. I was proud of the Canadian landscapes shown in the scenes, as well as the knowledge that it was based on a Canadian’s story. Knowing that a Canadian writer’s story can be made into a major motion film (it was a Disney movie) is still a great motivation for me as a writer. It tells me that all things are possible, even living in a small Canadian city with a book idea in my head.

Awards of Author Mowat

Farley Mowat wasn’t new to the award circuit. His most recent achievement was getting a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2010. Prior to that, the National Outdoor Book awarded him a Lifetime Achievement Award; it is important to note that the 2005 honor was the first and only time the non-profit organization awarded this particular honor. The Canadian writer won the 1956 Governor General’s Award for his “Lost in the Barrens” children’s book, which perhaps was the start of his journey to writing stardom.

Wolves Drawing as Tribute for Farley Mowat

Wolves were a key part of Farley Mowat’s writing. Photo Source: By Pearson Scott Foresman [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Environmentalist to Honor

In addition to his literary achievements, author Farley Mowat was a lover of the outdoors. Much of his writing is tied to nature; he covered the Arctic very well, for example. Unfortunately, some of his nature descriptions led to controversy of him, with some people saying he was unrealistic in his writing or exaggerated facts. He described wolves in “Never Cry Wolf” as being gentle creatures, which didn’t sit well with some people.

Mowat will be remembered for the way he educated people around the world about the Canadian North. In addition, his memories contain his efforts to protect wildlife.

I hope that people continue to read the more than 40 books that Farley Mowat published and enjoy learning about the Canadian North that he often wrote about. May he rest in peace and be proud of the work he did over his 92 years.


45 thoughts on “Leaving a Legacy: Canadian Author Farley Mowat Passes Away

  1. Billybuc

    I’m sorry to hear that. I greatly enjoyed his work.

    Still, like all of us, his work will live on forever, and I find great comfort in that. 🙂

    Hugs my friend



  2. Charlene Woodley

    Yes, may he rest in peace. How wonderful it is to have accomplished so much and to be remembered in this way. I am currently reading Jack London’s “White Fang” and he also gives a depiction of wolves in an in depth and personal (gentle in some ways with a personality) aspect. Now that you have written and I have read your post, I have once again learned something new and will definitely be in search for the works of this author – Farely Mowat…go Canada! Thank you Christy for being so informative and loyal to our craft as well as your readers and certainly to those that you read! 🙂 ❤


    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Thanks Charlene for the kind words for me and for Mowat’s legacy. If you like “White Fang” then surely you would enjoy “Never Cry Wolf” (movie version or original book). I am so happy to see you and sending love ♥


  3. Aquileana

    A very touching tribute to Mowat , Christy…

    I found your post quite interesting, particularly attending to the fact that he has written about the natural realms of canadian artic´s landscape…

    As to your spotlight on “Never Cry Wolf” I found it captivating and also think he has left readers a sort of holistic ecological message, as the main character get used to live among the wild howling wolfs.. Noting that this also involves a symbiosis process between Nature and Civilization/Culture…

    If their critics said his descriptions “were based on exaggerated facts”, as you have said… Maybe it’s because they couldn’t and didn’t want to understand that the borders between literary genders may sometimes be pervious…
    Meaning here that the boundaries Reality Fantasy can be certainly movable and fluctuating. And going further I would say that usually one may lead to the other…

    He sounds like a great writer…May his legacy live forever
    Thank you very much for telling us about his work…

    Best wishes, always, Aquileana 🙂


    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Hi Aqui, how lovely to read your comment today. You are quite right that there is a link between nature and civilization/culture. Mowat in some ways was telling us perhaps that we need to change our characters to be as gentle as the way he saw the animals… There are many layers to uncover here…

      As well, you make a good point about the boundaries fluctuating with writers. There is also the concept that the mind sees things differently from person to person. So Mowat’s vision would not be the same as you or I, for example.

      Thank-you very much for your comment, share and (most of all) your beautiful friendship. HUGS!


  4. Maggie Thom

    He was truly an incredible writer and an inspiring man – he lived his dream and shared his passion. Thank you for sharing his journey Christy.


  5. dontchawannadream

    Ohh I didn’t know him before reading your post so thank you, Christy.
    And RIP Farley Mowat.
    It’s amazing how some people can bring SO MUCH during their time on earth.
    Big hugs to you!! xxx


  6. greenlightlady

    Christy, your tribute to Farley Mowat is wonderful. The movie, Never Cry Wolf, is one my husband and I have watched several times. We’ve even watched it with our teens. It’s a classic and so is he.

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀



    Great tribute to a notable author,dear Christy ! It’s sad that advanced concepts oftentimes are misinterpreted ; now dead,he will be more acknowledged,as it usually happens …
    Doda 🙂 xxx


    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      That’s so true, my friend. The written word stays and can even become stronger with time. Thank-you for taking time here and I’ve missed you. I hope you are feeling okay xo


  8. Letizia

    I didn’t know he had passed away. I read Never Cry Wolf as a child and it became one of my favorite books – sedimenting my love for reading and for animals.Thank you for this lovely tribute.


  9. Pingback: Leaving a Legacy: Canadian Author Farley Mowat ...

  10. Pingback: Canadian environmentalist socialist author Farley Mowat, RIP | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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