Tributes are being shared by the literary world, and Canada’s writing community in particular, at the news of the recent passing of Alistair MacLeod, 77.
An acclaimed short story writer, MacLeod won the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2001, as well as the Trillium Book Award, for his only novel, “No Great Mischief”.
The 1976 short story collection “The Lost Salt Gift of Blood” as well as 1986’s “As Birds Bring Forth the Sun and Other Stories” and 2000’s “Island”, were among his best-known works.
On her Descant blog, Lesley Kenny has written a touching and informative “appreciation” to the man and his impressive legacy as an academic, an intellectual and fine gentleman. Please take a minute to read it.
I received the following message from Lesley who asked me to extend this invitation to anyone who would care to join in “raising a glass” to the memory of Alistair MacLeod this Friday evening in Toronto.
See you there?
… the life and work of Alistair MacLeod.Hello readers and writers, many of whom I’ve met through Descant,
Earlier today I made the suggestion via Descant’s twitter account that admirers of Alistair MacLeod meet at their local pubs across Canada and raise a glass in his honour this Friday. A cross-country toast to his life and legacy.For those of us in Toronto, Dora Keogh pub on the Danforth said they would be pleased to host such a gathering. It’s all quite impromptu and last minute for all of us, I understand, but if you can swing by, even for half an hour, please do. The point is not to wait and organize a formal event that might or might not happen weeks from now, but simply to get together and honour the man who loved to teach, write a good story, and sip an even better scotch (or vice versa?).There may be a surprise guest or two, I’m still waiting for some confirmations, but regardless, it will be good to get together to talk about and mourn the loss of a great writer. If any of you would like to volunteer to read a passage from his work, or if you have an Alistair story you’d like to tell, let me know.Please forward this through your own networks, even if you can’t come yourself, particularly to people that knew Alistair MacLeod. I look forward to seeing you on Friday.LesleyToday’s Descant blog, a tribute to Alistair MacLeod:Dora Keogh pub: 141 Danforth Avenue, TorontoP.S. If you are a bookseller and have copies of AM’s books, please contact me.