A Novel About Autism in Nineteenth Century Nova Scotia

Author: ronanodriscoll (page 1 of 3)

Sticky post

A Wholesome Horror: Poor Houses in Nova Scotia 2nd Edition

A Wholesome Horror: Poor Houses in Nova Scotia by Brenda Thompson

I was delighted when Brenda Thompson asked me to contribute a foreword to her second edition of A Wholesome Horror: Poor Houses in Nova Scotia published by SSP Publications. I have known Brenda for a number of years now and her research and support were critical to Poor Farm. Check out the latest edition for a much expanded take on this neglected area of Nova Scotia history, and see below for my full foreword.

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Ned Beales

Ned Beales [Courtesy Nova Scotia Archives]

In the course of researching Poor Farm, I came across the fascinating story of Ned Beals. He was from nineteenth century Preston, still today one of the largest African-Nova Scotian communities in the province. Although my novel is primarily concerned with the plight of an autistic young man in a poor farm, it does touch on the history of others like Ned Beals, many of whom were unfairly incarcerated in these institutions. Stewart, the main character, and Ned connect through popular songs. Ned is one of the few inmates who genuinely empathizes with Stewart, to the point where Stewart copies him by covering his mouth, an unconscious gesture the historical Ned used to make to cover a deformity there.

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Books For The Holiday Season

Atlantic Books Historical Stories Section

Atlantic Books are dedicated to helping readers in Atlantic Canada discover books written and published in their region. They release high quality magazines and guides, including their Holiday Gifts Guide. I was delighted to see Poor Farm featured in the Historical Stories Section. They say the best gift you can give someone is a novel experience. What better gift is there than the transformation of your surroundings offered by a book?

Recent News

Front Page of July 21st The Cole Harbour Wire

Poor Farm has been in the news recently! Along with the reading at Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum, there have also been features in local media. Check out below for more details:

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Pictures from a Reading

Outdoor Reading at Cole Harbour Heritage Farm (Credit https://dartmouthbookexchange.ca)

As mentioned in a previous post, I had the pleasure of reading at the Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum. The weather was lovely and, thanks to Heather and Sawyer, we had tables and chairs set up out in the main yard of the farm. Heather is curator of the museum and was of invaluable assistance in the research behind the book. Also thanks to Sue Slade from Dartmouth Book Exchange for helping with organization and sales. She even made mini-book themed chocolates! Finally thanks to everyone who took the time to attend and discuss Poor Farm.

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Reading at Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum

Cole Harbour Heritage Museum

I will be reading from Poor Farm at 2pm on August 1st at Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum. It will be an outdoor event with lots of time for reading, discussion of local history, book-signing. Whatever you like! Copies of Poor Farm will be available at a discounted rate from Dartmouth Book Exchange (Cash only) or from the Museum gift shop. Here is the Facebook Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/870591490215872

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