No Great Mischief
By Alistair Macleod
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375726651, 304pp.)
Publication Date: April 3, 2001
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Alistair MacLeod musters all of the skill and grace that have won him an international following to give us No Great Mischief, the story of a fiercely loyal family and the tradition that drives it.
Generations after their forebears went into exile, the MacDonalds still face seemingly unmitigated hardships and cruelties of life. Alexander, orphaned as a child by a horrific tragedy, has nevertheless gained some success in the world. Even his older brother, Calum, a nearly destitute alcoholic living on Toronto's skid row, has been scarred by another tragedy. But, like all his clansman, Alexander is sustained by a family history that seems to run through his veins. And through these lovingly recounted stories-wildly comic or heartbreakingly tragic-we discover the hope against hope upon which every family must sometimes rely.
Raised in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Alistair MacLeod has written two volumes of short stories and is recognized as one of Canada's most distinguished writers. He taught creative writing at the University of Indiana and is currently a professor or English at the University of Windsor, Ontario. MacLeod is married with six children and still spends his summers in Cape Breton.