After living in a remote Newfoundland outport and returning to Port Hope, Ontario, Claire and Farley Mowat abandoned the comforts of the mainland to live in the Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. They moved into a small isolated community and eventually bought a home there.
Claire Mowat writes of the ups and downs of being outsiders on their island but also of their love affair with the Magdalens, with its windswept dunes, endless beaches and raw beauty. It was a rugged life by the sea for the Mowats and sometimes a life of isolation, but they attracted visitors from far and wide, including Pierre and Margaret Trudeau, who arrived by helicopter from Charlottetown. The Mowats eventually gave the Trudeaus one of the puppies they raised. The Trudeaus, fittingly, named the dog Farley. He lived at 24 Sussex with the prime minister’s family, enjoying the comforts of civilization his namesake often eschewed.
Travels With Farley picks up where Claire’s best-selling The Outport People left off. It gives insight into her own writing life as well as Farley’s during the time when he was crafting A Whale for the Killing and researching Sea of Slaughter.
This is a warm and haunting tale of two writers whose lives were woven together by love, adversity and adventure. The book will appeal to both those already familiar with Farley Mowat, one of Canada’s iconic literary figures, and to those who have yet to meet this legendary and often controversial environmentalist.