Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Mowat will be missed

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Author Farley Mowat poses at an Ottawa school named in his honour in 2006. He died Tuesday night at the age of 92.

JANA CHYTILOVA / CANWEST NEWS SERVICE FILES Enlarge Image

Author Farley Mowat poses at an Ottawa school named in his honour in 2006. He died Tuesday night at the age of 92.

Re: Mowat leaves behind huge literary legacy (May 8). I introduced Farley Mowat's novel Lost in the Barrens to my class and gave them a reading period. I was called to the office for a phone call halfway through the class; when I returned, every student was reading intently and remained that way for the rest of the period. They didn't even notice me return.

I decided to write Mowat and thank him for making my job so easy; included in the letter were questions from the students.

He began his letter to me "Ray Baby," and his responses to the students' questions were equally clever and witty. To the question of why he ate raw meat, Mowat answered, "Seemed like a good idea at the time." To how hot it gets in an igloo: "Depends who you are with."

I read all his responses to the students. On that particular day, the class air-conditioning unit required repair. Amongst the laughing students, the repairman stood beside the air conditioner, listening and smiling.

That's who Farley Mowat was -- an author who could relate to every Canadian.

RAY CLOUTIER

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 9, 2014 A10

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