The Lost Salt Gift of Blood: New and Selected Stories

Alistair MacLeod, Author Ontario Review Press $11.95 (227p) ISBN 978-0-86538-063-9
These 11 haunting short fictions are shaped by the rugged terrain and rough seas of Cape Breton Island in southeastern Canada. MacLeod, a notable Canadian writer making his American debut here, is a superb storyteller who captures the moodiness of his native Nova Scotia in tales of fishermen, farmers and lighthouse keepers. Like the variable geography and climate of Cape Breton, the stories are raw and brutal, sweet and tender. In ``The Boat,'' an academic recalls the life and death of his stubborn father, a crusty old lobsterman with a passion for literature``useless books'' to his wife. Despite aspirations of university, the son pledged to ``remain with him his father as long as he lived and we would fish the sea together.'' After the father's drowning, the son left Cape Breton and his widowed mother to pursue a degree. Years later, he observed: ``It is not an easy thing to know that your mother looks upon the sea with love and on you with bitterness because the one has been so constant and the other so untrue.'' Set in a remote and isolated environment, the regional work speaks of great loves (between man and woman, father and son, boy and dog) and tragic losses that will move readers in every corner of the world. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 168 pages - 978-0-7710-9969-4
Open Ebook - 92 pages - 978-1-55199-548-9
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