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Howard Norman Biography, Books, and Similar Authors

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Read-Alikes

Howard Norman
Photo: Nancy Crampton

Howard Norman

Howard Norman Biography

Howard Norman was twice a finalist for the National Book Award. He is the author of Come to the Window, The Bird Artist, What Is Left the Daughter, My Darling Detective, and other novels. He received a Lannan Award in literature. He lives in East Calais, Vermont.



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Interview

Howard Norman discusses his 2010 novel, What Is Left The Daughter, and what draws him to write about Nova Scotia, even though he was born in Michigan and now lives in Vermont.

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 say I try to maintain a deep level of engagement with that region--...

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Books by this Author

Books by Howard Norman at BookBrowse
Come to the Window jacket My Darling Detective jacket I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place jacket What Is Left the Daughter jacket
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Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for Howard Norman but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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