Light Lifting by Alexander MacLeod

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What makes Light Lifting an impressive collection is its variety. I thought I had MacLeod nailed as an explorer of gritty masculinity and adrenalin-fuelled anger. But he can also be surpassingly delicate.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION NOTABLE BOOK OF 2012
IRISH TIMES BOOK-TO-READ FOR 2012
ATLANTIC BOOK AWARD WINNER
FINALIST FOR THE GILLER PRIZE AND THE FRANK O'CONNOR AWARD
A GLOBE & MAIL, QUILL & QUIRE, AND AMAZON.CA BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

"Engrossing, thrilling and ultimately satisfying: each story has the weight of a novel." —The Economist

This was the day after Mike Tyson bit off Evander Holyfield’s ear. You remember that. It was a moment in history – not like Kennedy or the planes flying into the World Trade Center – not up at that level. This was something much lower, more like Ben Johnson, back when his eyes were that thick, yellow color and he tested positive in Seoul after breaking the world-record in the hundred. You might not know exactly where you were standing or exactly what you were doing when you first heard about Tyson or about Ben, but when the news came down, I bet it stuck with you. When Tyson bit off Holyfield’s ear, that cut right through the everyday clutter. —from "Miracle Mile"

Two runners race a cargo train through the darkness of a rat-infested tunnel beneath the Detroit River. A drugstore bicycle courier crosses a forbidden threshold in an attempt to save a life and a young swimmer conquers her fear of water only to discover she's caught in far more dangerous currents. An auto-worker who loses his family in a car accident is forced to reconsider his relationship with the internal combustion engine.

Alexander MacLeod is a writer of "ferocious intelligence" and "ferocious physicality" (CTV). Light Lifting, his celebrated first collection, offers us a suite of darkly urban and unflinching elegies that explore the depths of the psyche and channel the subconscious hopes and terrors that motivate us all. These are elemental stories of work and its bonds, of tragedy and tragedy barely averted, but also of beauty, love and fragile understanding.

 

About Alexander MacLeod

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Alexander MacLeod was born in Inverness, Cape Breton and raised in Windsor, Ontario. His first collection of short stories ("Light Lifting, " Biblioasis 2010), was shortlisted for the Giller Prize, the Commonwealth Prize, two Atlantic Book Awards, and went on to become a national bestseller. Alexander holds degrees from the University of Windsor, the University of Notre Dame, and McGill; he currently lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and teaches at Saint Mary's University in Halifax.
 
Published April 5, 2011 by Biblioasis. 225 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Light Lifting
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Chris Ross on Mar 02 2012

On first reading, I thought perhaps MacLeod had over-stuffed stories that were already rich with incident.

Read Full Review of Light Lifting | See more reviews from Guardian

National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Jeet Heer on Sep 24 2010

What makes Light Lifting an impressive collection is its variety. I thought I had MacLeod nailed as an explorer of gritty masculinity and adrenalin-fuelled anger. But he can also be surpassingly delicate.

Read Full Review of Light Lifting | See more reviews from National Post arts

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