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by Alistair MacLeod

Relationship Stories

Island Synopsis

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.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780393341188
Publication date: 28/11/2011
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780393341188
Publication date: 28th November 2011
Author: Alistair MacLeod
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition
Format: Paperback
Genres: Relationship Stories,

About Alistair MacLeod

Alistair MacLeod, OC FRSC (July 20, 1936 – April 20, 2014) was a Canadian novelist, short story writer and academic. His powerful and moving stories vividly evoke the beauty of Cape Breton Island's rugged landscape and the resilient character of many of its inhabitants, the descendants of Scottish immigrants, who are haunted by ancestral memories and who struggle to reconcile the past and the present. MacLeod has been praised for his verbal precision, his lyric intensity and his use of simple, direct language that seems rooted in an oral tradition.

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