Is Elizabeth Bishop a Nova Scotia poet? She spent formative time here, with her maternal grandparents. But mostly she lived around: in Massachusetts and the Florida Keys and Brazil, among other places. She was a bit of a vagabond, and not always by her own choice. Still, Nova Scotia was a deep well for Bishop, and she returned to drink from it over and over.
Howard Norman is another writer associated with Nova Scotia, although I don't think he has ever lived here for any length of time. He now lives in the Washington DC area and teaches at The University of Maryland. Much of his fiction has been set in Nova Scotia, though. Even though he's not from around here, the province has taken hold of him. He, too, drinks from this well.
His most recent book, What is Left the Daughter (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2010), is set in Halifax and in the Minas Basin area, near Bishop's nesting ground, Great Village. It's a connection he lightly touches with his description of the Esso station in Great Village and passing reference to a local poet.
What is Left the Daughter is a lyrical tale composed within the framework of looming war with Germany, filtered through local senses. A set of quiet lives, mostly interwoven at the village level, suddenly take a hard turn into the extreme. The rest is consequences, and memory. His artfully composed story evokes a sense of village life in Nova Scotia in the 1930s and 1940s, and the grim teeming chaos of Halifax during the war years. The tone is mostly regret, which seeps through the pages like grey fog.