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W. O. Mitchell
By Natalie Regier
1 William Ormond Mitchell was born on March 13, 1914, in Weyburn, Saskatchewan. William Ormond, or W. O. as he is known by those who are familiar with his work, died in Calgary, Alberta, on February 25, 1998.
2 Mitchell is a well-known Canadian author. He was one of the first Canadian authors to write about the world he grew up in. He wrote about what life was like living on the prairies. Two events influenced Mitchell's writing. The first event was the death of his father when he was a young boy of seven years. Mitchell's struggle with mortality is a common theme throughout his writing. The second event that influenced Mitchell's writing was when he got tuberculosis and couldn't go to school. He wandered the prairies when he was first diagnosed and became aware of the details in the landscape around him. He then moved with his family to California and then Florida to avoid the winter weather for three years before returning to Canada.
3 Mitchell studied philosophy and psychology at university. He received a Bachelor in Arts degree. Mitchell then went on to get his teaching certificate. He became a teacher and wrote the book Who Has Seen the Wind while teaching. After the success of Who Has Seen the Wind, Mitchell began writing full-time. He worked as a fiction editor as well as a writer in residence at a number of different universities throughout Canada.
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