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Set in northeastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, The Tides of Time: A Nova Scotia Book of Seasonspaints vivid portraits of contemporary labourers whose harvests mark the rhythms of the seasonal year. Each of the twelve monthly chapters tells the story of a labour unique to that month, including jobs like tuna fishing, cranberry farming, maple syrup production, sheep farming, beekeeping, lobster fishing, and foraging for wild mushrooms. Stewart revitalizes an older, contemplative view of the sacredness of time. In keeping with the genre of nature writing, her book offers a meticulous way of looking at the world as she blends first-hand observations of seasonal change with stories of the labourers. The Tides of Timeoffers a refuge from the rush of urban life. It turns to the seasons, rural life and literature for an alternative mode of time, which is fluid, rhythmic, and gentle. The symplicity is there—close at hand.This manuscript is my first book. It is the outcome of my MFA in Creative Nonfiction, which I completed at the University of King’s College in Halifax. My shorter creative nonfiction works, essays, book reviews, literary criticism, reviews of art exhibitions, and profiles of visual artists have been published in numerous journals.
As an academic with a PhD in English literature and a specialization in the poetry of the Romantic period, I have taught at the University of Saskatchewan, Mount Allison University, and St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, where I am presently located.
I bring to my observations of rural life a literary lens. I admire the dignity of labourers and appreciate the delicate details in nature in ways that are reminiscent of the writing of William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth, John Keats, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Emily Dickinson, Henry David Thoreau, and Robert Frost, among others.
When not writing, reading or teaching, I spend my time outdoors: running, hiking, walking, and cycling year-round. My journeys into the countryside, during all four seasons, have inspired this book and shaped my aesthetic experience of the world.