Alistair MacLeod’s Short Stories

Island is a book of short stories by Alistair MacLeod, first published in 2000 by McClelland and Stewart, which contains the short stories published in MacLeod’s earlier collections, The Lost Salt Gift of Blood and As Birds Bring Forth the Sun and Other Stories, with two previously unpublished stories.

Because MacLeod was a very deliberate writer, who never rushed his stories into being, I’ve scheduled this reading project (tentatively) so that each collection spans the space of approximately a year (with a couple of extra stories in each July, marking his birthday on the 20th).

The stories are immediately inviting and easy to read, in terms of their language and pacing–they are hard to set aside–but they are also powerful. You’ll need time to settle your heart after reading.

The kick-off post is here.


  • “The Boat” (Mel’s post 2021, Naomi’s post 2017)
  • “The Vastness of the Dark” (Andrew, Mel, Naomi)
  • “The Golden Gift of Grey” (MAY 15/2021)
  • “The Return” (JUNE 15/2021)
  • “In the Fall” (JULY 15/2021)
  • “The Lost Salt Gift of Blood” (JULY 20/2021)
  • “The Road to Rankin’s Point” (AUGUST 15/2021)
  • “The Closing Down of Summer” (AUGUST 20/2021)
  • “To Every Thing There Is a Season” (DECEMBER 15/2021)
  • “Second Spring” (FEBRUARY 15/2022)
  • “Winter Dog” (MARCH 15/2022)
  • “The Tuning of Perfection” (APRIL 15/2022)
  • “As Birds Bring Forth the Sun” (MAY 15/2022)
  • “Vision” (JUNE 15/2022)
  • “Island” (JULY 15/2022)
  • “Clearances (JULY 20/2022)