The superbly crafted stories collected in Alistair MacLeod’s As Birds Bring Forth the Sun and Other Stories depict men and women acting out their “own peculiar mortality” against the haunting landscape of Cape Breton Island. In a voice at once elegiac and life-affirming, MacLeod describes a vital present inhabited by the unquiet spirits of a Highland past, invoking memory and myth to celebrate the continuity of the generations even in the midst of unremitting change.
His second collection, As Birds Bring Forth the Sun and Other Stories confirms MacLeod’s international reputation as a storyteller of rare talent and inspiration.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About Alistair MacLeod
Alistair MacLeod was born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, in 1936 and raised among an extended family in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. He still spends his summers in Inverness County, writing in a clifftop cabin looking west towards Prince Edward Island. In his early years, to finance his education he worked as a logger, a miner, and a fisherman, and writes vividly and sympathetically about such work.
His early studies were at the Nova Scotia Teachers College, St. Francis Xavier, the University of New Brunswick and Notre Dame, where he took his Ph.D. He has also taught creative writing at the University of Indiana. Working alongside W.O. Mitchell, he was an inspiring teacher to generations of writers at the Banff Centre. In the spring of 2000, MacLeod retired from the University of Windsor, Ontario, where he was a professor of English.
He has published two internationally acclaimed collections of short stories: The Lost Salt Gift of Blood (1976) and As Birds Bring Forth the Sun (1986). In 2000, these two books, accompanied by two new stories, were published in a single-volume edition entitled Island: The Collected Stories of Alistair MacLeod. In 1999, MacLeod?s first novel, No Great Mischief, was published to great critical acclaim, and was on national bestseller lists for more than a year. The novel won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction, the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, The Trillium Award for Fiction, the CAA-MOSAID Technologies Inc. Award for Fiction, and at the Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Awards, MacLeod won for Fiction Book of the Year and Author of the Year. No Great Mischief was also a finalist for the Pearson Canada Reader?s Choice Award at The Word on the Street.
Alistair MacLeod and his wife, Anita, have six children. They live in Windsor.
About Jane Urquhart
Jane Urquhart, one of Canada’s best loved writers, was born in the north, ( in Little Longlac, Ontario), and grew up in Northumberland County and Toronto. She is the author of seven internationally acclaimed novels: The Whirlpool, which received Le prix du meilleur livre étranger (Best Foreign Book Award) in France; Changing Heaven; Away, winner of the Trillium Award and a finalist for the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; The Underpainter, winner of the Governor General’s Award, a finalist for the Rogers Communications Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and long-listed for the Orange Prize in Britain; The Stone Carvers, which was a finalist for The Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award, and longlisted for the Booker Prize; A Map of Glass, a finalist for a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book, and, most recently, Sanctuary Line. She is also the author of a collection of short fiction, Storm Glass, and four books of poetry, I Am Walking in the Garden of His Imaginary Palace, False Shuffles, The Little Flowers of Madame de Montespan, and Some Other Garden. Her work has been translated into numerous foreign languages. Urquhart has received the Marian Engel Award and the Harboufront Festival Prize, and is a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France. Recently, she was named the Banff Distinguished Writer.
In 2005 she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Urquhart has received nine honorary doctorates from Canadian universities and has been writer-in-residence at the University of Ottawa and at Memorial University of Newfoundland, the University of Toronto, and the University of Guelph. She has also given readings and lectures in Canada, Britain, Europe, the U.S.A., and Australia. In
2007 she edited and published “The Penguin Book of Canadian Short Stories,” and in 2009 she published a biography of Lucy Maud Montgomery as part of Penguin’s “Extraordinary Canadians” series.
Jane Urquhart lives in Northumberland County Ontario, Canada, and occasionally in Ireland.