THE SNOW WALKER by Farley Mowat


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It's hard to say just why Farley Mowat is such an appealing writer. Part Arctic naturalist, part anthropologist, part raconteur and adventurer, Mowat has become over the years a gentle and persistent voice for The Snow People--Aleuts, Eskimos, Athapascan Indians of North America, Greenlanders, Lapps, Nensi, Siberian tribesmen, Yakuts and Yukagirs. All are peoples whose culture is being vanquished inexorably by the ""megalomaniac arrogance"" of Western technology, a technology which has made us ""think of snow with enmity."" It is a curious enmity, born of the vulnerability of our machines, and one that has carried over imperceptibly to the men who build their houses of snow and the creatures who have learned to accommodate themselves to the majestic and implacable fifth element. In this collection of tales, Mowat treads softly into the lives of the Innuit and prefers to remain unobtrusively in the background of these simple stories of men like Malcolm Nakusiak, an Eskimo washed ashore among the shepherds of the outer Hebrides; he never saw his homeland again hut became known among the Scots as ""the queer wee laddie who came out of the sea."" Or the boy Angutna and the white fox pup he befriended: they were called The Two Who Are One. Or the woman Soosie who went mad when officials from the Department of Northern Affairs came to take away her children. . . she began to smash everything. . . . Though Mowat is a fine storyteller, the sort you would be glad to hear around some campfire of a winter's night, there is a quintessential sadness to his Arctic traveler's tales. If you listen closely they are, each and every one, ""fragments from the final chapter in a long dark odyssey of a people's journey to destruction.

Pub Date: Jan. 22nd, 1975
ISBN: 0811731464
Publisher: Atlantic/Little, Brown