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Fiction Short Stories (single Author)


Penguin Modern Classics Edition

by (author) Alistair MacLeod

McClelland & Stewart
Initial publish date
Jun 2017
Short Stories (single author), Literary, Nature & the Environment
  • Audio disc

    Publish Date
    Mar 2004
    List Price
  • Audio cassette

    Publish Date
    May 2001
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2017
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2001
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 1989
    List Price

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Joyce Carol Oates gives us a precise image of the experience of reading these stories: "that sudden feeling of insecurity that comes to a traveler in unmapped country; a sense of immediacy, cinematic in its vividness."

The sixteen exquisitely crafted stories in Island prove Alistair MacLeod to be a master. Quietly, precisely, he has created a body of work that is among the greatest to appear in English in the last fifty years.

A book-besotted patriarch releases his only son from the obligations of the sea. A father provokes his young son to violence when he reluctantly sells the family horse. A passionate girl who grows up on a nearly deserted island turns into an ever-wistful woman when her one true love is felled by a logging accident. A dying young man listens to his grandmother play the old Gaelic songs on her ancient violin as they both fend off the inevitable. The events that propel MacLeod's stories convince us of the importance of tradition, the beauty of the landscape, and the necessity of memory.

About the author

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.

Alistair MacLeod's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"A great writer. . . . Talent like his needs no hype."—The New York Times Book Review
"The work of a superb . . . patient craftsman."—The Boston Globe
"This stormy Cape Breton Island . . . is a place you will never forget, illuminated by a writer whose name you will always remember."—San Francisco Chronicle
"A remarkable reading experience. . . . MacLeod clearly has a distinctive literary voice. . . . His writing is seamless, rather like a Heifetz CD or a Sinatra or Fitzgerald song. . . . His stories are artfully crafted." —The New York Times

"MacLeod writes of bonds of love and family that transcend time and distance and all the circumstantial dividers that life imposes, and does it with as much heart as any writer ever has." —The Dallas Morning News

Other titles by

Running the Whale's Back

Stories of Faith and Doubt from Atlantic Canada

edited by Andrew Atkinson
by (author) Carol Bruneau & Alistair MacLeod

To Every Thing There is a Season

A Cape Breton Christmas Story

by (author) Alistair MacLeod
illustrated by Peter Rankin

Lives of Short Duration

by (author) David Adams Richards
afterword by Alistair MacLeod

An Orange from Portugal

Christmas Stories from the Maritimes and Newfoundland

edited by Anne Simpson
by (author) Alden Nowlan, Alistair MacLeod, Mark Anthony Jarman, David Richards & Herménégilde Chiasson


Stories from the Maritimes and Newfoundland

by (author) Lesley Choyce, Alistair MacLeod, Joan Clark, Wayne Johnston, Carol Bruneau, Maureen Hull, David Helwig, Herb Curtis, Anne Simpson, Lynn Coady, Donna Morrissey, J.J. Steinfeld, Budge Wilson, John Steffler, Helen Fogwill Porter, Wayne Curtis, Bernice Morgan, David Adams Richards, Joan Baxter & Sheldon Currie

Brigh an Òrain - A Story in Every Song

by (author) Lauchie MacLellan, John Shaw & Alistair MacLeod

No Great Mischief

by (author) Alistair MacLeod

Gifts to Last

Christmas Stories from the Maritimes and Newfoundland

by (author) Walter Learning, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Deirdre Kessler, Alistair MacLeod, Tessie Gillis, Clive Doucet, Carol Bruneau, Lawrence O'Toole, Antonine Maillet, Alden Nowlan, Helen Fogwill Porter, Joseph Sherman, Ray Guy, M.T. Dohaney, David Adams Richards, Jon Conway Dewar, Ellison Robertson, Deannie Sullivan-Fraser, Herb Curtis & Grahame Woods

As Birds Bring Forth the Sun and Other Stories

by (author) Alistair MacLeod
afterword by Jane Urquhart