Books like The Bird Artist

The Bird Artist

1995, Howard Norman


Howard A. Norman (born 1949), is an American writer and educator. Most of his short stories and novels are set in Canada's Maritime Provinces. He has written several translations of Algonquin, Cree, and Inuit folklore. His books have been translated into 12 languages.

Norman was born in Toledo, Ohio. His parents were Russian-Polish-Jewish; they met in a Jewish orphanage. The family moved several times and Norman attended four different elementary schools, including in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His father was absent much of the time; his mother babysat other children. He has three brothers.

After dropping out of high school, Norman moved to Toronto. Working in Manitoba on a fire crew with Cree Indians, Norman became fascinated with their folkstories and culture. He spent the next sixteen years living and writing in Canada, including the Hudson Bay area and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. During this time, he received his high school equivalency diploma, and studied later at Western Michigan University Honors College where he received Bachelor of Arts degrees in zoology and English in 1972. In 1974, he earned a Master of Arts degree from the Folklore Institute of Indiana University linguistics and folklore; his Masters thesis was entitled, Fatal Incidents of Unrequited Love in Folktales Around the World. For the next three years, he participated in the Michigan Society of Fellows; The Cree personal name was published in 1977. Shortly after, his father passed away in 1996, who Norman had not seen in 20 years.

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