Howard Norman is a three-time winner of National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and a winner of the Lannan Award for fiction. His 1987 novel, The Northern Lights, was nominated for a National Book Award, as was his 1994 novel The Bird Artist. He is also author of the novels The Museum Guard, The Haunting of L, and Devotion. His books have been translated into twelve languages. Norman teaches in the MFA program at the University of Maryland. He lives in Washington, D.C., and Vermont with his wife and daughter.
Norman's parents were Russian-Polish-Jews who met in a Jewish orphanage. Norman was born in Toledo, Ohio but his family moved a number of times so that he attened four different elementary schools. After dropping out of high school he moved to Toronto and then to Manitobawhere he worked on a fire crew with Cree Indians. He
became fascinated with their folkstories and culture and spent the next sixteen years living and writing in Canada's Hudson Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Greenland.
During this time, he received his high school equivalency diploma, and then studied at Western Michigan University Honors College, receiving Bachelor of Arts degrees in zoology and English. He then earned a Masters of Arts degree from the Folklore Institute of Indiana University.
Bibliography to 2010
The Northern Lights (1988)
The Bird Artist (1994)
The Museum Guard (1998)
The Haunting of L (2002)
What Is Left the Daughter (2010)
The Wishing Bone Cycle (poems) (1982)
Kiss in the Hotel (1989)
Northern Tales (1990)
The Girl Who Dreamed Only Geese (1997)
The Chauffeur (2002)
Between Heaven and Earth (2004)
How Glooskap Outwits the Ice Giants (1989)
Trickster and the Fainting Birds (1999)
My Famous Evening (2004)
In Fond Remembrance of Me (2005)
Bibliography source: fantasticfiction.com
This biography was last updated on 06/17/2010.
A note about the biographies
We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate. However, with over 2500 lives to keep track of it's inevitable that some won't be as current or as complete as we would like. So, please help us - if the information about a particular author is out of date, inaccurate or simply very short, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and those connected with authors: If you wish to make changes to your bio, please send your complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.
Howard Norman Talks About Literary Imagination
May include plot spoilers
You were born in Michigan, you live in Vermont, yet most of your books are set in Nova Scotia. Why does it resonate with you?
I think that's something that I've started to ask myself. I'm 61--it seems you would come to such knowledge earlier. Let me try to basically address this, though. Nova Scotia, for all the frequent extended periods I've lived there, is obviously central to my literary imagination. Yet writing about it requires a displacement of imagination, because I generally write my novels in Vermont. And that geographical distance affords me the opportunity to calibrate the right narrative distance for my novels. Or at least I try for that. Once the basic research ends, I go to Vermont and begin to channel Nova Scotia. It's like a geographical séance, I suppose, to put it simply.
To me the Canadian Maritimes is a very compelling region; it's tragic, it's melancholy; it has a long history with the sea; it's elegiac. In the cemeteries, there are so many graves that are empty because the people were lost at sea. I'm comfortable with the disturbing paradoxes and haunting qualities of the area. I'd...
Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!
Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only
Southern Gothic fantasy with a contemporary flare set in Savannah
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.
Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.