The superbly crafted stories collected in Alistair MacLeod’s As Birds Bring Forth the Sun and Other Stories depict men and women acting out their “own peculiar mortality” against the haunting landscape of Cape Breton Island. In a voice at once elegiac and life-affirming, MacLeod describes a vital present inhabited by the unquiet spirits of a Highland past, invoking memory and myth to celebrate the continuity of the generations even in the midst of unremitting change.
His second collection, As Birds Bring Forth the Sun and Other Stories confirms MacLeod’s international reputation as a storyteller of rare talent and inspiration.
About the authors
Alistair MacLeod was born in Saskatchewan in 1936 and raised in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. He has published two internationally acclaimed collections of short stories: The Lost Salt Gift of Blood (1976) and As Birds Bring Forth the Sun (1986). In 2000, these two books, accompanied by two new stories, were published as Island: The Collected Stories of Alistair MacLeod. In 1999, MacLeod's first novel, No Great Mischief, was published to stellar critical acclaim. The novel won the Dartmouth Book Award, the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, The Trillium Award, the CAA Award, and the Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Awards for Fiction Book of the Year and Author of the Year. In 2001, No Great Mischief was awarded the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, one of the world's most prestigious literary prizes.
Jane Urquhart was born in the far north of Ontario. She is the author of eight internationally acclaimed novels, among them The Whirlpool, which received France’s Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger; Away, winner of the Trillium Award, The Underpainter, winner of the Governor General’s Award and a finalist for the Orange Prize in the UK and The Stone Carvers, which was a finalist for the Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Award and Britain’s Booker Prize. She is also the author of a collection of short fiction and four books of poetry. She has written a biography of Lucy Maud Montgomery and was editor of the Penguin Book of Canadian Short Stories. Her work, which is published in many countries, has been translated into numerous foreign languages. Urquhart has received the Marian Engel Award and the Harbourfront Festival Prize. She is a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Urquhart has received ten honorary doctorates from Canadian universities, including the University of Toronto, University of Western Ontario and the Royal Military College of Canada. She has served on the Board of PEN Canada, on the Advisory Board for the Restoration of the Vimy Memorial and on several international prize juries including that of the International Dublin IMPAC Award, the Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the American International Neustadt Award.
Her most recent novel, The Night Stages, was released in 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in the US, McClelland and Stewart in Canada and Oneworld in the UK.
Urquhart lives in southeastern Ontario with her husband, artist Tony Urquhart.
“Alistair MacLeod’s stories are as regional and universal as the work of Faulkner or Chekhov. And they are, I think, as permanent.”
“His writing moved from his heart to the page, and will always leap back from the page and into the heart of the reader.”
“MacLeod published but one novel, No Great Mischief, and two short story collections, yet he was a giant of contemporary Canadian literature, a fact proven by the outpouring of grief, from coast to coast and around the world, in the wake of his death.”
“A consummate storyteller, MacLeod's great gift allowed him to touch readers worldwide with moving stories of the everyday lives of people that resonated with the warmth and the sadness of a universal humanity.”
Other titles by Alistair MacLeod
Penguin Modern Classics Edition
To Every Thing There is a Season
A Cape Breton Christmas Story
Lives of Short Duration
Stories from the Maritimes and Newfoundland
Brigh an Òrain - A Story in Every Song
No Great Mischief
Gifts to Last
Christmas Stories from the Maritimes and Newfoundland