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  • Published: 15 February 2013
  • ISBN: 9780099563396
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $19.99

Light Lifting

An exceptional debut collection of stories from an assured new talent.

Light Lifting is a suite of darkly urban, unflinching elegies. The seven stories each encompass a keenly observed, immersive world, rooted firmly in the real life of work and family. They are elemental stories of work and its bonds, of tragedy and tragedy barely averted, but also of beauty and love and moments of pure transcendence.

  • Published: 15 February 2013
  • ISBN: 9780099563396
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Alexander MacLeod

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.

Also by Alexander MacLeod

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Praise for Light Lifting

Light Lifting arrives bearing Giller Prize and Frank O'Connor Award nominations. These are more than warranted. Alexander MacLeod looks like a heavyweight in the making

Peter Murphy, Irish Times


Suzi Feay, Independent

Brilliant...engrossing, thrilling and ultimately satisfying: each story has the weight of a novel

The Economist

MacLeod structures the [stories] brilliantly, deftly switching from one narrative thread to another whilst maintaining a pulse-quickening tension

Just William's Luck

It feels - like a truly good short story should - crafted, meant, complete. He's his father's son alright.

David Robinson, Scotsman

MacLeod shows himself to be a highly accomplished writer able to generate atmosphere, produce credible characters and dialogue, and enter a variety of situations

Leyla Sanai, Independent

MacLeod, the son of revered Canadian novelist and short story writer Alistair MacLeod, has recently been shortlisted for four literary prizes. On this evidence, he deserves it

Chris Ross, Guardian

The collection is shot through with an intensely-felt physicality and honesty, and beautifully textured. You'll want to re-read it as soon as you finish

Book Trust

Brutally hard and blub-provokingly tender by turns, they're the work of a writer proving himself to be a proper Carver-esque class-act.

Dazed and Confused

Alexander Macleod is clearly a serious writer who observes the world closely

Sheena Joughin, TLS

Alexander MacLeod's control of cadence and rhythm is so complete that it seems effortless. These stories offer a real pleasure which comes from the sense of life and emotional honesty in them. The pleasure also comes from their beautiful tone and something in the voice which is both relaxed and perfect. They contain a rare kind of truthfulness.

Colm Tóibín

Rarely does fiction inhabit the body - the moving, athletic body - as fully as in Alexander MacLeod's debut story collection... Sensitive and subtle, MacLeod is a writer through whose deliberately partial and quotidian pieces shimmers life's unspoken complexity.

Giller Prize jury citation

[MacLeod's] capacity to encapsulate entire lives in the span of a few pages rivals Alice Munro. This is one of the finest collections of short fiction to appear . . . in a long, long time.

Quill & Quire (Best Books of the Year citation)

Ontario writer Alexander MacLeod's Light Lifting arrives across the Atlantic laden with praise.

Irish Times, Books to read in 2012

A gripping, controlled collection that wields a wonderful distilled power.

The Big Issue

Stunningly assured debut...the quality of this collection, is remarkable...for me, a good short story always leaves the reader wanting more. On this evidence, I certainly want more Alexander MacLeod.


A thoughtful, beautifully crafted, big-hearted work

Anne Enright

Every so often a new writer comes along with a true gift for language...an elegant, conversational simplicity

LA Times

Tipped as one of the best books of the year by Canadian critics.these are superbly crafted tales.MacLeod does his father proud with this debut


Both visceral and gracious in approach he delicately balances the physical stress and strain of everyday lives with mental and emotional tolls

Big Issue North

Short stories aren't usually known for boosting adrenaline levels, but Canadian author Alexander Macleod's debut collection isn't one for the bedside table. firmly rooted in work and family Macleod's relaxed story-telling will make you feel anything but


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