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Island: The Complete Stories Paperback – 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393341186
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393341188
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.8 x 21.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #94,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From Amazon

Island collects into a single volume the superbly crafted stories of Alistair MacLeod. In addition to their original appearances in North America's finest literary journals (and various reprints in Best American Stories and other prestigious anthologies), all but two of the attentive, meditative stories filled the previous books The Lost Salt Gift of Blood (1976) and As Birds Bring Forth the Sun (1986). These two books were enough to gain MacLeod the admiration of readers in numerous languages and writers as diverse as Michael Ondaatje, Joyce Carol Oates, and Colm Tóibín.

With unseen, magician's fingers, MacLeod makes the craggy rocks and wave-slapped bays of rugged Cape Breton Island speak for themselves. As in "The Boat," in which the very walls of a house and the fixtures of a boat find voice and carry the story, the stories in Island sing in a choir of voices not exclusively human. Dogs, the lamps of isolated lighthouses, winding roads, and slabs of winter ice sing together in voices both regional and universal. The sternness of the landscape and the livelihoods of MacLeod's people inflect both the actions of his characters and the voice of their narration. In the tragic "As Birds Bring Forth the Sun," a "man with a Highland name who lived beside the sea" nurses an injured dog despite the protests of "the more practical members of his family, who had seen run-over dogs before, [who] suggested that her neck be broken by his strong hands or that he grasp her by the hind legs and swing her head against a rock." These are timeless, ageless stories not only because they will last alongside the similarly dense and striking stories of Chekhov or Carver, but also because in reading them we are ageless, simultaneously child, young lover, and aged hand. --Darryl Whetter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“Alistair MacLeod’s stories are as regional and universal as the work of Faulkner or Chekhov. And they are, I think, as permanent.”
–Michael Ondaatje

“Stunning.… The quality of the writing matches the very best in the world.… The stories are about us and here is that rare voice, a unique voice, to illuminate our experience.”
Edmonton Journal

“The book is a treasure.… These are stories well worth returning to, with layers to uncover gradually.… It doesn’t get any better than this.”
Toronto Star

“If you buy one book this year, let it be Island.… You will have in your possession not only some of the best short stories written in the twentieth century, but some of the best short stories ever written in the English language…These are universal stories for all time.”
Kitchener-Waterloo Record

“Every story is touched with the beauty and truth of genius”
Irish Times

“One of the finest masters of prose in the world…these short stories have established MacLeod as a writer whose every word is set in place with clean and enduring perfections.”

“These stories have slowly become famous for their control of tone and cadence and for MacLeod’s ability to handle pure, raw emotion…Neither contemporary trend nor modern ironies interest him. The genius of his stories is to render his fictional world as timeless.”
–Colm Tóibín

“MacLeod’s lyricism succeeds in leaving a reader both harrowed by and envious of all the sorrow, violence and ravenous love.”
-New York Times Book Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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on August 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
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on March 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
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on January 4, 2015
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
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on August 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
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