Tribute to Alistair MacLeod


One of Canada's great short story writers, Alistair MacLeod died on April 20, 2014. He was 77 years old.

MacLeod was born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan on July 20, 1936. He moved to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia when he was 10 years old. Cape Breton would influence much of his work, and MacLeod would go on to be a major influence in the island's arts and culture.

His works included the short story collections The Lost Salt Gift of Blood and As Birds Bring Forth the Sun and Other Stories and the novel No Great Mischief. No Great Mischief won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, 2001. MacLeod was was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2008.

Five memorable quotes from Alistair MacLeod

"All of us are better when we're loved."

"No one has ever said that life is to be easy. Only that it is to be lived."

"Living in the past is not living up to our potential."

"And then there came into my heart a very great love for my father and I thought it was very much braver to spend a life doing what you really do not want rather than selfishly following forever your own dreams and inclinations."

"Sometimes it slanted against her window with a pinging sound, which meant it was close to hail, and then it was visible as tiny pellets for a moment on the pane before the pellets vanished and rolled quietly down the glass, each drop leaving its own delicate trickle. At other times it fell straight down, hardly touching the window at all, but still there beyond the glass, like a delicate, beaded curtain at the entrance to another room."

In memoriam: authors we lost in 2014: