Syr Ruus was born in Tallinn, Estonia, during the Second World War. As a small child, she escaped with her mother to Germany and subsequently immigrated to the United States where she earned an MA in English, an MS in Education, and taught briefly in the English Department of Illinois State University. She moved to Nova Scotia in 1968 where she worked as an elementary school teacher while raising her three children before devoting herself full-time to writing. Her short fiction has appeared in anthologies and journals. Her 2006 novel, Lovesongs of Emmanuel Taggart, won the Writer's Federation of N.S. H. R. (Bill) Percy Prize. Since then, she published three books of fiction inspired by the South Shore of Nova Scotia: Devil's Hump (2013), The Story of Gar (2014), shortlisted for the Ken Klonsky Novella Award, and In Pleasantry (2016). Her novella, Walls of the Cave, is forthcoming in 2019.