Alistair MacLeod’s Cape Breton

Alistair MacLeod walking to his writing shack

By Lawrence Wells
With his little dog Blossom at his side, Gil MacLeod, a native of Cape Breton Island who is related to novelist Alistair MacLeod, is leading me to his cousin’s writing shack overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Here is where MacLeod penned his classic novel No Great Mischief (1999) about Cape Breton fishermen and miners and their Scottish ancestors who migrated to Nova Scotia in the 18th century. His other works include The Lost Salt and Gift of Blood (1976), As Birds Bring Forth the Sun and Other Stories (1986), and Island (2000).

In MacLeod’s stories, ficti...

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