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Farley Mowat gets a loving lick from his loyal companion, Chester, as his wife, Claire, looks on, in the couple’s living room in Port Hope, Ont. (Charla Jones/The Globe and Mail)
Farley Mowat gets a loving lick from his loyal companion, Chester, as his wife, Claire, looks on, in the couple’s living room in Port Hope, Ont. (Charla Jones/The Globe and Mail)

Remembering Farley Mowat: Tributes to the famed author Add to ...

Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson

“Farley was a dear old friend and colleague of many years. We have a lot of great Farley stories. It was Farley who, in 1972, said ‘now you’re a target and people will shoot at you.’ [Atwood’s critical look at CanLit, Survival, was published in 1972] Also, ‘work up a public performance and use it as a shield.’ Which was what he did. We are devastated and sad, as we were planning to see him in Port Hope before they left for Cape Breton.”

Elizabeth May, Green Party Leader

Green Party leader Elizabeth May became pen pals with Farley Mowat in the 1970s over shared environmental concerns and finally met in person in 1988. One summer in 2010 he told her that he had stopped writing and taken up painting. “When I got to the house in Cape Breton [in the summer of 2010] he was standing on a ladder painting the side of the house. Claire [his wife], at the foot of the ladder, was saying ‘Farley, get down from there.’ So I was picturing Farley with an easel and a paint brush in his hand painting a landscape … I am going to miss him dreadfully.”

Bob Peart, biologist and executive director of Sierra Club of British Columbia

“I’ve read all his books. There’s a bit of myth to them … but I’m perfectly okay with that. It was the way he had of engaging people with nature. He shared his love and I think that’s really, really important. And it gave you a sense of what Canada’s all about. His books, the emotion of them, helped shape who I am.”

Justin Trudeau

“He was a family friend from – my childhood. He came to Harrington Lake a few times, got along great with my father and actually gave us a Labrador retriever who we called Farley who had a penchant for running after porcupines as I remember, but Mr. Mowat obviously was a passionate Canadian who shaped a lot of … my generation growing up with his books and he will be sorely missed.”

David Suzuki

“Farley was one of my great inspirations as I am sure he was for generations of people who care about the environment. He did not fear controversy and was outspoken in his views, a most un-Canadian Canadian. He drew his passion and inspiration from Canada’s natural beauty and the original people who inhabited it, elements that are a big part of our identity. The people and places we love will flourish as long as nature does and Farley’s legacy is his plea for us to work together to protect it.”

Jane Urquhart

“Farley Mowat was very important to the young Canadians of my generation. In many ways, he explained the geography, the people and the animals of our vast country to us. As children we all read Lost in the Barrens. It opened up the idea of the North for us, and made us eager to come to know the People of the Deer in his non-fiction book of that name. As students in the late sixties and early seventies, we all read Never Cry Wolf. These works affirmed our environmental, humanitarian and, in some cases, activist leanings, and made us value the landscape of the north.”


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