Farley (McGill) Mowat 1921–
Canadian novelist, short story writer, nonfiction writer, scriptwriter, and editor.
Mowat is a popular and prolific writer for young people and adults. A naturalist, Mowat is an avid lover of the Canadian wilderness, of animals, and of nature and peoples unspoiled by the corruption of technological advances. Much of his writing is based upon his own experiences and adventures.
Mowat has been criticized for mixing fiction with fact, especially in his controversial book People of the Deer, in which he blames the Canadian government and traders for the ruin of a once-flourishing Eskimo tribe. He apparently feels that a writer's message is more important than accurate data, for in defense of his "subjective nonfiction" he has said, "Never let facts interfere with the truth."
Perhaps Mowat's best-known work for young adults is Lost in the Barrens, which won the Governor General's Award in 1957. This work effectively portrays his concern with the individual's struggle against natural forces. For Mowat, true human dignity lies in the ability to achieve an existence in harmony with nature. Mowat has a special affinity for young adults who, he feels, are not yet affected by the dehumanization of the modern world. He has written: "Writing for children, or rather for young people, is a particular pleasure since most of them have not yet been molded into the formal shapes of technological man; they remain really natural, and therefore really human in my eyes."
(See also Contemporary Authors, Vols. 1-4, rev. ed.; Contemporary Authors New Revision Series, Vol. 4; and Something about the Author, Vol. 3.)