Just in time to experience my first hurricane (Bill) in August of 2009, I arrived in Nova Scotia, along with my husband, whose desire to visit the location of Annie Proulx’s The Shipping News, prompted our trip to a land wholly foreign to me.
Always one to check for tips about historic locations where authors and poets had lived and written, I waded into the Fodor’s Guide Book and searched the glossary.
” Hmmm…I do not see any reference to Annie Proulx or The Shipping News.”
” Look again, Cheri, it’s there.”
“In fact, dear, the most noteworthy literary reference I can find in Nova Scotia is to Longfellow and his poem Evangeline.”
Several minutes passed as I cross-checked references.
” Newfoundland is the setting for The Shipping News.”
* * * * *
Newfoundland was not on our itinerary and hotels had been booked, so to Nova Scotia we went!
While in this pristine loveliness for a week, aside from the hurricane in Halifax on the day we were to depart Nova Scotia, where in Carly Simon’s song “You’re So Vain, ” she suggests that Warren Beatty’s visit to New Scotland was “…to see the total eclipse of the sun…, ” we visited Claire (French Acadian), Digby (English and site of Evangeline’s story), and Cape Breton Island (Scottish).
During that trip we considered traveling across the Bay of Fundy to two other Atlantic Canadian Provinces, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, but we ran out of time, and the hurricane was coming in fast. I wrote and posted several entries during that trip which can be found under the categories of Nova Scotia, Epic of Gilgamesh, and Labrador and Newfoundland.
* * * *
Six years later, and with no hurricane in the forecast (yet), we are on our way to New Brunswick and PEI by car but first we have to escape Boston traffic.
“In terms of literary references in Atlantic Canada, dear, the only one I can find is the House of Seven Gables…”
“Really. My recollection is that we already saw that house in Salem in 1988. Remember, Hawthorne wrote it, correct?”
Upon checking the guidebook, I learn that the House of Green Gables was written on Prince Edward Island.
So much for our literary acumen!