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.
• "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 Alistair MacLeod
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