I got a letter from Farley Mowat today

Occasionally, when I read a book that I really like I write to the author and tell them so. This has led to some great interactions with authors that I admire.

So after reading Farley Mowat’s most recent book, Otherwise,  I jotted down a few words to express my gratitude for the book and explain how and why the stories in the book moved me.  Then I got ready to put the letter in the mail. Except this time I did things a little differently.

I have recently published a book entitled Arctic Inspired: A Tribute to the Tundra, which is a compilation of 30 people’s images and stories inspired by their self propelled travels in the arctic.  I think Mowat’s stories of the north are partly responsible for my interest in the arctic, so in recognition of all the stories he has shared with others about the north, I thought it was only appropriate to humbly share our stories with him. So, along with the letter I stuffed a copy of our book into the envelope.

But how did you get the home address of a famous author you ask? One who has has sold 14 million books, had them translated into 52 languages and been made an officer of the Order of Canada – our nations highest civilian honour?

I just used the internet. It took less than 30 seconds. I even got his home phone number.

I didn’t expect to hear back, but lo and behold I got a letter from Farley today.  I was quite tickled to say the least.  Sure, Farley’s writing has caused some controversy over the years, but the man has had a fascinating and adventurous life that has been anything but boring, and I admire that! I hope my life is at least as interesting.

So, what did he say?

Well, in part, he said this:

I really envy your own experiences in the Barrens.  Obviously you were there a lot longer and covered a lot more ground but I share with you the sense that this is a special part of the world.  I often dream about it too and have trouble not writing about it most of the time.

Thank you very much for sending me a copy of Arctic Inspired: A Tribute to the Tundra. It truly is a piece of inspirational writing.  The deep admiration, affection, and commitment to the north that is displayed by all those who took part in the project is clear at a glance.  I am very happy to have this book beside me and will refer to it whenever I feel lonely, miserable, and deprived.

I guess that means he likes it.  If that is the case then I am honoured. I hope the same is true for the rest of the book’s contributors.  I am also very happy to have given something back to this remarkable man who has shared so many of his experiences and ideas with his readers.

Thanks Farley!

19 thoughts on “I got a letter from Farley Mowat today

  1. Hugh

    Dude, that’s amazing. Farley Mowat associates your work with being lonely, miserable and deprived.

    And he gives you the tip-o-the-hat for being out there longer than him. Is that true? Ah well, I guess with Farley, the truth and facts sometimes live separate lives. But in sum, how cool is that?

  2. Ollie

    Farley Mowat! That is way too awesome!

    If both Hugh and Sherwin are going to making comments on your website does it make me smart by association if I too post something?

    How come they have pictures? Can I have a username and password too?

  3. KFriesen

    Hi,
    In the grade 4/5 class that I am teaching, we are reading Owls in the Family by Mowat. Wondering if you could tell me what his address is so the kids can write him a letter.
    Thanks!

  4. Michelle

    Hi Tim,
    My Grade 4 class is reading Owls in the Family. The kids are excited about writing to the author – and I want to write because I NEED to find out whatever happened to Wol and Weeps!
    Could you send me the address you used to write him?
    Thanks,
    Michelle

  5. farrah

    I have been trying to get farleys home address so I could write him a letter he is my dads favorites author but Iam not very good on this computer so I have not had much luck can you help me. thank you

  6. Sherry

    My internet skill are not as good as yours because I have been trying to find Mr. Mowats address so my son can send him a letter, He just finnished reading Owls in the Family and would love to write him a letter
    Thank you for sharing you experience with us all

  7. John McNaughtan

    Dear Tim,

    I have been a fan of Farley Mowat since I received my first book, Lost In the Barrens when I was 11 years old. The book was even signed by him but is now lost and has been replaced. I’m not an author like yourself or an explorer, merely a fan of his books. I wanted to write him a letter merely stating my appreciation for Lost in the Barrens and a few other favorites. Could you send me his mailing address or PO Box#? I would really appreciate that. I will look for your book on my next day off.

    P.S. Congratulations on Farley Mowat’s praise of your new book and of your accomplishments.

  8. Lauren Lopez

    Wow! Congratulations! I remember one time in my class we had to do a project on Mowat, and make up an interview with realistic answers. One girl decided to actually CALL him and get the REAL answers! It didn’t go as well as your experience . . . actually, he was rather grumpy . . . but anyway, he is incredibly famous and obviously intelligent, and it is a pure accomplishment that you got his approval. I will also be looking your your book on my day off!

  9. Kelly Mathews

    Today, Saturday May 12, 2012 is Farley Mowat’s 91st Birthday…. Farley Mowat’s is my 4th cousin… I have just decided today that I will be making contact with him to say hello… there is a family resemblance… My great-great paternal grandmother is Farley’s 1st cousin…. My grandmother his 2nd cousin, my father his 3rd and then there’s me and my twin sister as his 4th :)

    You can find me on Twitter – @allthingsregal
    Kelly

  10. Naila Caruso

    I should ADORE to write to the man-I had a howl reading his boat book (my insane brother has 3-one for each foot) and also comments on Federal service (I was USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection for 30 years and insanity crosses governments). Plus I grew up where we got Canadian stations better than US-the only place where Canada is SOUTH of the US-Detroit River.

    I was going to ask could he PLEASE get Simon Jones (he did Wodehouse and Hitchikers for BBC radio series) to do his books audio? I bet the man should adore doing it-great comic reader.

    Thanks

  11. Lesleyanne Banks

    Hi!

    I stumbled across your blog, during a search for Farley Mowat’s email/address. My grade 4 class just finished Owls in the Family and we’ve written him letters. Would you kindly send me his address?

    Thanks!

  12. Kristen L

    Could you please send me his mailing address? My grade 5 students have just finished reading Owls in the Family and would love to send him a letter telling him how much they loved his book.

  13. Donald Fraser

    To Tim Irvin
    from Donald Fraser
    I wrote Farley Mowat several years ago when he had a residence in Port Hope, but have not been
    as adept as you at finding a current mailing address. Today I watched “A war of their Own” on Tv
    about the Italian Campaign where my brother Jim [died last year at 96] fought alongside Farley Mowat in he Hasty P’s and is mentioned a couple of time in Farley’s THE REGIMENT. Please tell me
    your easy way to find his address!

    I’ll red some of your blog later

  14. Aracely

    Hello, I was wondering if i can get Farley Mowat’s address because my biology teacher is giving extra credit if we write to him and he answers back. I would be great if you can give me his address. Thank you

  15. Lkhagvasuren

    Dear Tim Irvin,
    My name is Lkhagvasuren and I am the leading scientist from Institute of Biology, Mongolian Academy of Sciences. I read Farley Mowat’s book Never Cry Wolf many years ago and the problem with wolf in Mongolia is exactly same as it was written in his book. I am translating this book into Mongolian and wanted to answer the permission from publishers, but said that I should contact directly the author. I was not lucky like you, therefore I am kindly asking you to assist me to find his contact details. The email address would be fine.

    All the best,

    Dr. Lkhagvasuren B.

  16. Lisa Lindblom

    Dear Tim,

    I just came across your blog, and read this post on Farley Mowat. How unbelievably wonderful! Farley Mowat is one of my favorite authors; as a matter of fact, I can remember long stretches of The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be, as I read it over and over between the ages of 8 and 11. I am a teacher, and I would love to write to him with my class this coming year. We are planning to read A Whale For the Killing. Could you send me his address? I found an address for him in Ontario, but I was hoping you might have his Cape Breton address. Also, I’d love to have a copy of your book in the classroom. Can I send a check for $28.00 drawn on an American bank?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*