When W.O. Mitchell died in February of 1998, millions mourned his passing. Our loss was the lead item on the national news, many newspaper obituaries ran for a full page, and as an extraordinary mark of respect, flags outside government offices across the land flew at half-mast.
The man they mourned – and everyone in the Canadian book world whose life he had touched was personally saddened – was known above all as the author of Who Has Seen the Wind. And this edition – containing the full text – marrying W.O. Mitchell’s text with the art of William Kurelek, has established itself as a classic.
Since its publication in 1947, Who Has Seen the Wind has established itself in the hearts and minds of millions as a Canadian classic. The reasons for the book’s classic status are not hard to find. As readers enter the world of four-year-old Brian O’Connal and his family and friends, they find characters that radiate life so convincingly that the book has a life of its own. No ordinary simple novel, it is the ageless story of childhood told with tenderness and humour and without sentimentality, and the picture of a small town anywhere, drawn with realism and understanding.
This handsome edition marries W.O. Michell’s prose with the inspired illustrations of one of Canada’s finest and most popular artists, the late William Kurelek. The 8 full-colour paintings he produced, like the 32 black-and-white sketches that adorn the first page of every chapter, all come specifically from the text, and are illustrations in the very best sense. This edition is a collector’s piece, a beautiful book that is also a joy to read, again and again.
About Who Has Seen the Wind
When W.O. Mitchell died in 1998 he was described as “Canada’s best-loved writer.” Every commentator agreed that his best – and his best-loved – book was Who Has Seen the Wind. Since it was first published in 1947, this book has sold almost a million copies in Canada.
As we enter the world of four-year-old Brian O’Connal, his father the druggist, his Uncle Sean, his mother, and his formidable Scotch grandmother (“she belshes…a lot”), it soon becomes clear that this is no ordinary book. As we watch Brian grow up, the prairie and its surprising inhabitants like the Ben and Saint Sammy – and the rich variety of small-town characters – become unforgettable. This book will be a delightful surprise for all those who are aware of it, but have never quite got around to reading it, till now.
About W.O. Mitchell
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… More about W.O. Mitchell
About W. O. Mitchell
W.O. Mitchell was born in Weyburn, Saskatchewan in 1914. Educated at the University of Manitoba, he lived most of his life in Saskatchewan and Ontario, before he and his wife, Merna, moved to Calgary. During a varied career, Mitchell travelled widely… More about W. O. Mitchell