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Who Has Seen the Wind [Paperback]

W.O. Mitchell
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Product Description

From Amazon

W.P. Kinsella has called Who Has Seen the Wind, the quintessential novel of growing up on the Prairies, "Canada's Catcher in the Rye." W.O. Mitchell, who was born and grew up in small-town Saskatchewan, evokes the immensity of the landscape with a lyrical prose style, from the ferociousness of the wind to the far reaches of the bright blue sky. It's probably the most important Canadian novel of boyhood.

Mitchell used memories of his own childhood to create the world of Brian O'Connal, balancing a finely drawn sense of humour with a delicate nostalgia for a world that had already been lost even as Mitchell wrote about it in the aftermath of the Second World War. Like children everywhere, Brian is curious about everything, and the author allows him to freely explore his prairie world, taking in everything from gophers to God, from his feisty Irish grandmother to his friends Ben and Saint Sammy, the town of Arcola's local madman. Mitchell gives readers a most memorable glimpse into the ins and outs of small-town life during the Depression years, always through Brian's eyes, and in doing so creates a poignant and powerful portrait of childhood innocence and its loss. --Jeffrey Canton

Review

“One of the finest Canadian novels ever written.”
Globe and Mail

“Mitchell…has so thoroughly captured the feeling of Canada and the Canadian people that we feel repeated shock of recognition as we read.”
–Robertson Davies

From the Back Cover

“One of the finest Canadian novels ever written.”
Globe and Mail

“Mitchell…has so thoroughly captured the feeling of Canada and the Canadian people that we feel repeated shock of recognition as we read.”
–Robertson Davies

About the Author

W.O. Mitchell, the only Canadian author recognizable by initials alone, was born in Weyburn, Saskatchewan in 1914. Educated at the University of Manitoba, he lived most of his life in Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Alberta, where for many years he was the most renowned resident in High River. He and his wife, Merna, subsequently moved to Calgary.

During a very varied career Bill Mitchell travelled widely and was everything from a Depression hobo to the fiction editor of Macleans. A gifted teacher, he was visiting professor at the University of Windsor for several years, and a creative writing instructor at the Banff Centre for many summers.

His best-loved book is Who Has Seen the Wind. Since its publication in 1947 it has sold over half a million copies in Canada alone, and is hailed as the greatest Canadian book on boyhood. The classic edition, illustrated by William Kurelek, became a bestseller in 1991. Complementing that book is his 1981 best-seller How I Spent My Summer Holidays, hailed by some critics as his finest novel, although Since Daisy Creek (1984) and Ladybug, Ladybug…(1988), Roses Are Difficult Here (1990), For Art's Sake (1992) and The Black Bonspiel of Willie MacCrimmon (1993), illustrated by Wesley W. Bates, were also well-received best-sellers. Besides The Kite (1962) and The Vanishing Point (1973), he was also noted for his two collections of short stories, Jake and the Kid (1962) and According to Jake and the Kid (1989). Based on the legendary CBC radio Series, both classic story collections won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour.

His last book, An Evening with W.O. Mitchell, contains his most popular performance pieces, and concludes with “The Poetry of Life”, the lecture that he delivered from a wheelchair to The Writers’ Union Conference in Winnipeg in 1996.

A noted performer of his own work, W.O. Mitchell recorded cassette versions of both Who Has Seen the Wind and According to Jake and the Kid, while a selection of pieces from An Evening with W.O. Mitchell, performed by W.O., is also available on cassette.

Our novelist and script-writer was also a successful playwright whose five plays are included in the collection entitled Dramatic W.O. Mitchell. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1973, and was an honorary member of the Privy Council. He was the subject of a National Film Board documentary, and in 1994 he was awarded the Writers Guild of Alberta Golden Pen Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 1996 the City of Calgary named its book prize in his honour. He was, in Pierre Berton’s words, “an original.”

W.O. Mitchell died in February 1998 at his home in Calgary.

Orm Mitchell is a Professor of English at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. Barbara Mitchell taught at Trent for a number of years and is now a freelance writer. They have published articles on Canadian literature, on biography, and on W.O. Mitchell.

From AudioFile

Growing up in a small town on the Canadian prairie, Brian O'Connal is facing some of the big questions of life. Brian is 4 when he discovers a nest of newborn pigeons. How did the birds get into the eggs? Why did one die? After the premature deaths of his father and his dog, as well as the death of his grandmother, Brian asks himself why people die--why they "finish up." W.O. Mitchell reads his own work in a reflective, almost reedy tone. Despite being elderly when he recorded this work, his portrayal of a 4-year-old mind is authentic. Mitchell makes Brian's confusion palpable and his grief heartrending. A.B. © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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