Alistair MacLeod (1934-2014) is a Canadian treasure. He didn't written a ton of books (one novel, a few short story collections) but he packed a huge punch in what he wrote. While in university, I took a course called Maritime Studies and the professor, David Weale, took us on a tour of Maritime culture. Music, language, history, culture, and literature. The main thing I remember though is reading a story called Lost Salt Gift of Blood. I later went back and read the whole book, and all the rest of MacLeod's writings. Another thing that Alistair produced was his son, Alexander, who also writes wonderful short stories, see Light Lifting.
I went through a little Alistair MacLeod spell this spring...
To Everything There is a Season by Alistair MacLeod (short story)
Dear little Christmas story set in 1940s, waiting for the older brother to come home on Christmas eve. It's a story about family, and remembering, and nostalgia, tinged with sorrow.
I think it is a book I'd like to have to my Christmas book collection, so read once a year, like A Child's Christmas in Wales or Dave Cooks the Turkey. You know, classics.
Reading Alistair MacLeod
NFB of Canada DVD
I was able to borrow this DVD from my local library and enjoy the legend of Canadian literature. Typical delightful NFB film with no narrator, just conversations and people answering questions that have clearly been asked, but the viewer doesn't get to hear.
Featuring Alistair MacLeod ; with appearances by Margaret Atwood, David Adams Richards, Russell Banks, Colm Tóibín, Lisa Moore and Wayne Johnston.
A documentary that explores the mysteries of MacLeod's creative process, his deep and abiding connection to Cape Breton, his explosion onto the international literary scene with his first novel, No Great Mischief, and his love of family. Woven into the documentary are commentaries by other authors such as Margaret Atwood who read their favorite passages from his work and sharing their personal stories.