"Alistair was a great writer. Everyone knows that..."
May 19, 2014 12:51 AM   Subscribe

Alistair Macleod, one of Canada's greatest writers, has passed away. With just one novel, and two collections of short stories to his name, Macleod left an indelible mark on Canadian, and modern, literature. Other writers share their memories at the National Post (skip the first, Joyce Carol Oates' completely bland and characterless effort). At the Globe and Mail, Steven Galloway shares his own stories with Alistair.

A lesson in the art of storytelling - a (very substantive) interview with Macleod.
posted by smoke (9 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
posted by benzenedream at 1:23 AM on May 19, 2014


Tough month for Canadian literature.
posted by humanfont at 4:15 AM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by postcommunism at 5:14 AM on May 19, 2014

Thanks for posting this, I wanted to make one the day it happened but the rushed newspaper obituaries didn't do much for anyone who didn't already know his work. The NP's series of quotes is lovely.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:27 AM on May 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

posted by SpaceWarp13 at 5:38 AM on May 19, 2014

I read the Joyce Carol Oates one. It was OK.
posted by thelonius at 6:49 AM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

:( He was an absolutely brilliant writer. "No Great Mischief" was a wonderful book. Rich descriptions that made you feel like you knew Cape Breton. From the NYT review:
He does not take readers to as many different places and psyches as his country's very best writer, Alice Munro, but he indelibly renders a Cape Breton we are never likely to visit -- a terrain where the ''dog days'' are the coldest, not the muggiest, and where the ocean wind has forced enough sand into the trees that ''when the saw passed through them in the early darkness of the fall and winter evenings, streaks of blue and orange flame shot from them.''
posted by zarq at 7:02 AM on May 19, 2014

Oh, wow. No Great Mischief ranks as one of my all-time great reads. A truly fantastic book.

A close friend who married into a Cape Breton family said that Macleod really captured the sense of that community. He will be missed, but remembered every time someone reads one of his great books.
posted by alms at 8:38 AM on May 19, 2014


Loved him. I got to meet him once, back when I worked for the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia. He was a member, but didn't come to many meetings (which would have four-five hours away from his home in Cape Breton) but occasionally he'd call for contract advice or the like, and was always genial and charming. I met him the year No Great Mischief won one of our awards, the Raddall. He couldn't have been a nicer guy.
posted by joannemerriam at 9:30 AM on May 19, 2014

« Older Size Comparison - Science Fiction spaceships   |   "enormous transfers of wealth take place from the... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments