September 15, 1999
McClelland & Stewart
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0771055676
ISBN - 13: 9780771055676
From the Publisher
Alexander MacDonald guides us through his family’s mythic past as he recollects the heroic stories of his people: loggers, miners, drinkers, adventurers; men forever in exile, forever linked to their clan. There is the legendary patriarch who left the Scottish Highlands in 1779 and resettled in “the land of trees,” where his descendents became a separate Nova Scotia clan. There is the team of brothers and cousins, expert miners in demand around the world for their dangerous skills. And there is Alexander and his twin sister, who have left Cape Breton and prospered, yet are haunted by the past. Elegiac, hypnotic, by turns joyful and sad, No Great Mischief is a spellbinding story of family, loyalty, exile, and of the blood ties that bind us, generations later, to the land from which our ancestors came.
From the Jacket
Alexander MacDonald guides us through his family's mythic past as he recollects the heroic stories of his people: loggers, miners, drinkers, adventurers; men forever in exile, forever linked to their clan. There is the legendary patriarch who left the Scottish Highlands in 1779 and resettled in "the land of trees," where his descendents became a separate Nova Scotia clan. There is the team of brothers and cousins, expert miners in demand around the world for their dangerous skills. And there is Alexander and his twin sister, who have left Cape Breton and prospered, yet are haunted by the past. Elegiac, hypnotic, by turns joyful and sad, "No Great Mischief is a spellbinding story of family, loyalty, exile, and of the blood ties that bind us, generations later, to the land from which our ancestors came.
About the Author
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-MOSA
From Our Editors
Canadian literary master Alistair MacLeod has spent 13 years rewriting, editing and perfecting this extraordinary tale of Scottish immigration to Canada. No Great Mischief begins in Scotland in 1745 with the fateful revolt on Culloden Moor, when several clans began their exodus to Cape Breton and the Hebrides. The book traces the often violent, always stirring history of Scots in Canada. Through unequalled prose and craftsmanship, MacLeod paints a portrait of a people that are a huge part of Canada's history and culture.
“MacLeod is MacLeod, the greatest living Canadian writer and one of the most distinguished writers in the world. No Great Mischief is the book of the year – and of this decade. It is a once-in-a-lifetime masterpiece.”–Globe and Mail“No Great Mischief is one of the best Canadian novels I’ve read in years. It’s a tale of truth about people who care for one another and for the living world around them. A lament and a celebration, it will endure.”–Farley Mowat“This is a simply great novel. The simplicity lies in the device of the plot. The greatness lies in its scope, imagination, and execution.…His message beguiles, his prose captivates, and his narrative never loosens a deceptively gentle grip.”–Glasgow Herald“You will find scenes from this majestic novel burned into your mind forever.”–Alice Munro“A triumph of fiction.…[MacLeod’s] storytelling is taut and lucid. His characters possess strength and depth. They linger in your mind.”–The Economist (U.K.)“[A] mesmerizing, evocative story, infused with grace and wisdom.”–Jury Citation, Trillium Award“A powerful, intricate work.…”–Toronto Sun“MacLeod’s world of Cape Breton…has become a permanent part of my own inner library.”–New York Times Book Review“No Great Mischief feels like a book that’s gone deep and means to stay.”–Quill & Quire (starred review)“A masterpiece of storytelling.”–Time Out (London)“This book is a jewel.…Destined to become one of the most memorable Canadian novels of the decade.…”–Hamilton Spectator“A haunting
This is one of the most eloquent books I've ever read. MacLeod is a flawless writer. His prose and story are so well thought out that I did not suffer the slightest bit of annoyance while reading it. It flowed like the glacial water streams of the Rockies: pure and smooth. Even when I was reading the more vile and violent parts of the novel, I was still impressed with the grace of the storytelling. Brilliant. The lives of the characters of Scottish ancestry in this Cape Breton town are so moving that anyone who reads it cannot help but like this book.