It’s been ten years or so since we’ve had a new tale from the Cape Breton master of the mournful multigenerational short story form. Alistair Macleod has written only about a couple of dozen stories, but they’re some of the best written ever, plus one fine novel, No Great Mischief, which a few years ago won the Dublin IMPAC Award.
“Remembrance” is the story of four generations of MacDonald men, the last three named David. It takes place on a modern Cape Breton Remembrance Day that meanders back through the lives and memories of the three remaining David MacDonalds. The austere oldest MacDonald who witnessed his son go off to war to avoid poverty at home is dead but his now 90 year old son is still with us, though he himself is pretty sure this will be his last Remembrance Day to spend with his own son and grandson.
Macleod has perfected the art of drawing the sadness out of everyday life and turning it into something beautiful. And he often does it down through the ages and the families. “Remembrance” is a story of fathers and sons and survivors of wars in distant lands and turmoils on the home front. This is yet another example of a perfectly crafted Alistair MacLeod short story. Hopefully it’s not his last.
Available from amazon.ca as an ebook only, “Remembrance” is Well worth the $2.99 download to kindle/ipad price.