MacLeod, Alistair

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

MacLeod, Alistair

Alistair MacLeod (məkloud´), 1936–2014, Canadian fiction writer, b. John Alexander Joseph MacLeod, Ph.D. Notre Dame, 1968. He taught at the Univ. of Windsor from the late 1960s until his retirement in 1999. Though his output was small, MacLeod is considered one of Canada's finest writers of Efiction in English. Cape Breton Island, where he lived from a young age and maintained a home as an adult, forms the setting of most of his short stories and his only novel. MacLeod worked as a logger, miner, and fisherman while attending college, and such arduous and dangerous work colors and informs his spare, elegiac prose. He began publishing short stories in 1968, and his reputation was established with his collections The Lost Salt Gift of Blood (1976) and As Birds Bring Forth the Sun and Other Stories (1986). Written over 13 years, the novel No Great Mischief (2000) spans three centuries and tells of the enduring traditions and constant struggles of Cape Breton's MacDonald clan.

See his collected stories (2001); study by I. Guilford, ed. (2002); W. D. MacGillivray, dir., Reading Alistair MacLeod, (documentary, 2005).

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