People of the Deer
Farley Mowat: People of the Deer (New York: Carroll & Graf, 2005)
I confess that somehow I didn’t discover Farley Mowat until I read his obituary on the BBC web site. Even though one of his books had been made into a movie, I just hadn’t caught up with him. He is a wonderful storyteller whose subjects live in land that is of great interest to me. I have always felt the call of the north and am very interested in the people who live there, enduring the cold and dark of winter, making weapons and tools from scarce materials and forging a way of life that was very sustainable before the advent of European settlers.
Mowat stirred some controversy during his life, more from his writings about wolves than his writings about people, but he did sound a cry for a change in our attitudes and behavior toward indigenous people. It took a long time for people to respond to the voices like Mowats, but slowly things are changing in the north country. In some cases it is too little too late,
People of the Deer is a good starting place to read Mowat. His careful description of the geography and its people is inviting and eye-opening. The result is a delightful and challenging book.