Mowat in 1987 (Photo: CP/Bill Becker)
Farley Mowat, the author of dozens of works of fiction and non-fiction, and a noted environmentalist, has died at the age of 92.
The author's assistant, Mary Shaw-Rimmington, confirmed the news to CBC News this afternoon.
“Mowat’s rage can be Swiftean, his humour Puckish, but his compassion for all creatures, great and small, has been consistent," Margaret Atwood said of Mowat in 2012. "Love him or resent him, he’s now an Ancestral Totem, whether he likes it or not."
More than 17 million copies of his books have been sold around the world, and many have been translated into dozens of languages.
In 2008, Mowat sat down with George to talk about his life and career, as well as his 40th book, the memoir Otherwise.
Mowat was born in 1921 in Belleville, Ontario, and as a youth in Saskatchewan, he published a column about birding in the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix after his family moved there. His first book, the novel People of the Deer, came out in 1952, and was prompted by a series of field trips he took as a student biologist to the Hudson Bay area. Setting a pattern for much of his later work, it told the story of an Inuit community on the brink of extinction.
Mowat was probably most famous for his 1963 book Never Cry Wolf, which is widely credited with changing the popular perception of wolves (it even led to a ban on hunting in Russia).
Over the course of his career, Mowat was awarded many literary prizes, including the Governor General's Award for Lost in the Barrens in 1956 and the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour for The Boat that Wouldn't Float in 1970. He was also the subject of controversy for his style of "subjective non-fiction," which was sometimes criticized for exaggerating the truth. In a 2012 interview with the Toronto Star, Mowat said that straight-forward journalism "was never my game. “I took some pride in having it known that I never let facts get in the way of a good story. I was writing subjective non-fiction all along.”