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Remembering Alistair Macleod

The Canadian literary scene is still reeling from news of the death of Alistair MacLeod. I felt personally hurt at the loss of this wonderful writer, teacher, and man, and found throughout the week that many, many of us felt the same way. In addition to his many noted qualities, he made each of us feel as if we were his best friend, and in a way, we were. More accolades will follow, but here are a few links from people who loved him, among them students who studied with him at the Humber School of Writers, and below that, an invitation to an informal memorial.

The National Post Announcement

Lesley Kenny at Descant

Author Michelle Butler Hallett

Author Bonnie Lendrum


… the life and work of Alistair MacLeod.

Hello readers and writers, many of whom I've met through Descant,

Earlier today I made the suggestion via Descant's twitter account that admirers of Alistair MacLeod meet at their local pubs across Canada and raise a glass in his honour this Friday. A cross-country toast to his life and legacy.

For those of us in Toronto, Dora Keogh pub on the Danforth said they would be pleased to host such a gathering. It's all quite impromptu and last minute for all of us, I understand, but if you can swing by, even for half an hour, please do. The point is not to wait and organize a formal event that might or might not happen weeks from now, but simply to get together and honour the man who loved to teach, write a good story, and sip an even better scotch (or vice versa?).

There may be a surprise guest or two, I'm still waiting for some confirmations, but regardless, it will be good to get together to talk about and mourn the loss of a great writer. If any of you would like to volunteer to read a passage from his work, or if you have an Alistair story you'd like to tell, let me know.

Please forward this through your own networks, even if you can't come yourself, particularly to people that knew Alistair MacLeod. I look forward to seeing you on Friday.