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Transcript of Alistair Macleod
Award winning Canadian novelist
Who Is Alistair Macleod?
Alistair Mcleod was a Canadian short story writer and novelist. He was born in North Battleford Saskatchewan and died in Windsor Ontario. He has received many awards for his writing.
"Today there is a division between those who write about literature and those who create it. I obviously don't think that should be there."
- Alistair Mcleod
Timeline Of His Life
July 20, 1936
Alistair Mcleod was born in North Battleford, SK.
When he was five his family moved to Edmonton and then to Mercoal, Alberta.
When he was ten his family returned to Cape Breton and moved into farmhouse that his great-grandfather has built in Dunvegan during the 1860s.
Alistair graduates high school.
Began to attend the Nova Scotia teachers college and afterwards taught for a year on Port Hood Island which is located in the west coast off Cape Breton.
Studied at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia where he earned a B.A and a B.Ed.
Earns his M.A from the University of New Brunswick.
Receives a PhD from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
The Boat in The Massachusetts Review.
Began to teach at The University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario. He taught english and creative writing until he died recently.
Published seven short stories in a book called
The Lost Salt Gift Of Blood.
In the Fall
The Vastness of the Dark
The Lost Salt Gift of Blood
The Golden Gift of Grey
The Road to Rankin's Point
Published seven more short stories in
As Birds Bring Forth the Sun and other short stories.
The Closing Down of Summer
To Every Thing There is a Season
The Turning of Perfection
As Birds Bring Forth the Sun
Published the novel
No Great Mischief
which is multi-award-winning.
No Great Mischief wins many awards including:
The International IMPAC Dublin Literacy Award
The Trillium Award
Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Award
He is awarded the Lannan Literary award for fiction.
Published To Every Thing There is a Season: A Cape Breton Christmas Story.
He was appointed an officer of the order in Canada.
He is awarded the PEN/Malamud award for short fiction.
Alistair Macleod passed away on April 20, 2014 at the age of 77 in Windsor after suffering from a stroke in January. He had been recovering since then in the hospital.
The Macleod Family
Alistair Mcleod was married for almost 43 years to Anita MacLellan who also grew up in Cape Breton a few miles away from Alistair.
They were married on September 4, 1971.
They had seven children together, six sons and one daughter.
One of their sons died during infancy.
His oldest son Alexander is also a writer.
This image shows Anita MacLellan and her family at the memorial service for her husband Alistair.
No Great Mischief
A novel by Alistair Macleod
Macleod is Macleod, the great living Canadian writer and one of the most distinguished writers in the world.
is the book of the year - and of this decade. It is a once-in-a-lifetime masterpiece."
- Globe and Mail
"You will find scenes from this
majestic novel burned into your mind forever."
- Alice Munro
Here is a video where Alistair Macleod reads a short passage from his novel
No Great Mischief.
The novel begins with an orthodontist Alexander Macdonald driving to Toronto to visit his brother Calum. Calum is an alcoholic and is visited by Alexander weekly. The narrator uses flashbacks to his childhood and other periods in his life to reveal his family history and his story.
Discuss as a class what you like or maybe do not like about the novel
No Great Mischief
Guided Reading Questions
"Once, outside of Leamington, my
grandmother, who was visiting at
the time, burst into tears at the
sight of the rejected and overripe
tomatoes which were being
" (page 2)
How do you feel about the given
recognition? Does it do justice to
the reality of the situation, here,
in the "golden" month of
September? If your first
impression is one of discontent, a
lack of honesty or sincerity, then
explain your disappointment
citing reference from both the
text, and your own summation
or factual circumstances.
Although Alexanders grandmother may not be happy with the ways or times that farmers in Leamington harvest this may only be because she is not used to the way that things are done here. As most of the residents in Leamington know the town is very successful with the farming and harvesting tomatoes.
She is upset to see some of the tomatoes go to waste since Alexander states that she tried not to waste even one tomato.
Thank-You For Listening
Sources We Used