Poor Farm

A Novel About Autism in Nineteenth Century Nova Scotia

Archives (page 2 of 2)

Looking For eliza

Katy Jean searches grave markers at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Digby. (Courtesy Halifax Examiner)

Suzanne Rent, a journalist with the Halifax Examiner, has an excellent piece today on one woman’s search for an ancestor who died at a Nova Scotia poor farm. You can read the full article here. I particularly appreciated Katy Jean’s reflection on how horribly Eliza was treated by her own relatives.

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Abandoned

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/photographer-quest-abandoned-cemeteries-1.5866319
Mount Hanly Cemetery (Courtesy CBC News)

The image above is from a recent CBC news article on one man’s quest to preserve Nova Scotia’s abandoned cemeteries. Steve Skafte, a Bridgetown poet and photographer, has created an online map of the forgotten graveyards that dot the province. I felt the same impulse to record the history around one of these sites when out walking with my son and we stumbled upon the Poor Farm burial ground. This became the opening chapter of my novel, Poor Farm.

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Hello

Poor Farm Cover
Working Cover for Upcoming Novel Poor Farm

Welcome to the Poor Farm blog! I will post updates about the novel here, along with longer background pieces. As outlined on the Welcome page: this novel is about an autistic character in nineteenth century Nova Scotia. Why? There are a lot of books on autism but few that imagine what it was like for people on the spectrum in previous times. That’s one reason. The bigger reason is I wrote it for my autistic son.

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