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Description found in Archives

Alistair MacLeod fonds [textual record, graphic material and sound recording]. 

Place of creation

Canada

4.508m of textual records
60 photographs
15 photographs (tiff and jpg, 37.9424 MB)
1 audio cd

Scope and content

The fonds reflects Alistair MacLeod's activities as a prominent Canadian writer and professor of Creative writing and English. Contains Alistair MacLeod's notes and drafts, typescripts, proofs for his work (in particular the working files for each of his short stories and research for the novel as well as drafts of poetry as well as non-fiction essays); editorial correspondence and correspondence with publishers concerning book production and royalties; correspondence with friends, colleagues, other writers, students, institutions organizing readings and appearances, and foreign publishers. Also includes teaching material, Windsor Review editing files, jury notes and correspondence, reviews, as well as graduate school records and family memorabilia. The Alistair MacLeod fonds contains the following series: Series 1. Literary Works Series, 2. Editorial/Publisher Correspondence, Series 3. Correspondence and Events files, Series 4. Non-Fiction Essays, Series 5. The University of Windsor (Subseries 5.1 University Teaching Subseries 5.2 Windsor Review Subseries 5.3 Special Projects), Series 6. Workshop Teaching , Series, 7. Jury Work , Series 8. Adaptation and Translation, Series 9. Works of other writers for review or blurb, Series 10. Graduate School, Series 11. Reviews and clippings, Series 12. Youth and Family Life. The majority of the documents were created and amassed in Windsor, Ontario with the exception of the material in Boxes 13b onward which was brought by MacLeod from Cape Breton.

Sound recordings
90: Open
Graphic(photo): electronic
90: Open
Textual records
96: Restrictions vary
LMS container
from 16 to 23
from 1 A to 1 C
from 2 A to 2 C
from 3 A to 3 C
from 9 A to 9 B
from 10 A to 10 B
from 11 A to 11 C
from 12 A to 12 C
from 15 A to 15 B
90: Open
Textual records
96: Restrictions vary
LMS container
from 4 A to 4 B
from 5 A to 5 C
from 6 A to 6 C
from 7 A to 7 C
from 8 A to 8 C
from 13 B to 14 B
18: Restricted
Textual records
96: Restrictions vary
LMS container
from 13 A to 14 A
10: Closed
Graphic (photo)
90: Open
Volume
from 18 to 19
90: Open
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.
Other accession no.
2005-01 LMS

The finding aid for the "Alistair Macleod fonds LMS-0263 2005-01" is available in the reference room and electronically by request. 90 (Paper)

Biography / Administrative history

Alistair MacLeod (né John Alexander Joseph MacLeod) was born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan in 1936. His parents had moved west to escape the hardship of Depression-era Nova Scotia. In 1946, his family returned to their farm in Inverness County, Cape Breton where they lived among extended family. It was here that MacLeod finished high school. In his early years he worked as a logger, miner and fisherman to finance his education. MacLeod pursued studies at the Nova Scotia Teachers College (graduating in 1956) after which he taught a year of grade school in Port Hood. He graduated from St. Francis Xavier in 1960 with a Bachelor in Arts and Education. He then attended the University of New Brunswick where he received a Masters degree in 1961, having written a thesis on the Canadian short story of the 1930's. He went on to teach at Nova Scotia Teachers College (1961-1963) before pursuing a doctorate at Notre Dame University where he specialized in British 19th Century Literature and wrote a PhD thesis on Thomas Hardy (PhD, 1968). MacLeod then taught creative writing at the University of Indiana, Bloomington before returning to Canada in 1969.

Alistair MacLeod received early recognition of his talents when his second story "The Boat" was published in Massachusetts Review in 1968 and was selected for Best American Stories 1969 (Houghton-Mifflin's annual collection and a second story "The Lost Salt Gift of Blood" was chosen subsequently for Best American Stories 1975). Alistair MacLeod was hired to the Creative Writing Department at the University of Windsor in 1969, teaching alongside Joyce Carol Oates and Eugene McNamara. He taught English and Creative Writing and was instrumental in bringing many Canadian writers to speak at Windsor, in particular, arranging a writer-in-residency for W.O. Mitchell. MacLeod was selected as the Canadian participant in the Canada Scotland Writers in Residence Exchange Program for 1984-1985. He was made a university professor in 1993. He acted as fiction editor for the Windsor Review between the 1970's and 2000's. Each summer the MacLeods and their six children returned to Inverness County from Windsor. Near to the family home, MacLeod constructed a clifftop cabin overlooking the sea toward Prince Edward Island in which to write. MacLeod published two volumes of finely-honed short stories drawing on the land and people of Cape Breton: The Lost Salt Gift of Blood (1976) and As Birds Bring Forth the Sun (1986). It was for these fourteen stories which he was recognized by critics, fellow-writers and readers until the publication of his novel No Great Mischief in 1999. Joyce Carol Oates introduced MacLeod's stories to a wider American audience with the publication of The Lost Salt Gift of Blood: New and Selected Stories (Ontario Review, 1988) which was chosen by Publisher's Weekly as one of the best books of 1988. The novel No Great Mischief became an international best-seller and garnered the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction, the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, the Trillium Award for Fiction, the CAA-MOSAID Technologies Inc. Award for Fiction and two Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Awards. Additionally, MacLeod was awarded the Dublin IMPAC Award in 2001 for the novel, becoming the first Canadian author to win the honour. Following the novel, a volume of collected stories Island was published in 2000 and contained the stories from the two earlier volumes as well as two new stories ("Island" and "Clearances").

Alistair MacLeod has taught many workshops, particularly at the Banff Centre (where he taught alongside W.O. Mitchell for 10 years) and the Humber School for Writers. He has served on many literary prize juries (including the Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction, the Giller Prize, the W.O. Mitchell Award and the Journey Prize). His work has been translated into 15 languages including Gaelic and his work is widely anthologized and used in school curricula. His stories have been adapted to stage and film: in particular a play "The Lost Salt Gift of Blood" staged by Mulgrave Road Theatre Co-op (1983) and a film of "In the Fall" by Allan Kroeker (1983). Alistair MacLeod is the recipient of numerous honourary degrees including Saint Francis Xavier (1987). His life and work are the subject of a biographical film co-sponsored by the NFB and CBC titled "Reading Alistair MacLeod" (2005). Alistair MacLeod retired from the Department of English at the University of Windsor in the spring of 2002, becoming professor emeritus.

Additional information

Arrangement note
The material from Windsor reflects the filing system of MacLeod's university office, in other cases the origin of material is noted. Researchers will note that the original filing order is reflected in the series but that additional files were composed of loose material which was brought together: these are noted.

Private

3721055