Two long-distance runners race a cargo train through the darkness of a rat-infested tunnel beneath the Detroit River. A drug store bicycle courier crosses a forbidden threshold in an attempt to save a life, and a young swimmer conquers her fear of water only to discover she’s caught in far more dangerous currents. An autoworker who loses his family in a car accident tries to separate his life from the internal combustion engine forever.
Light Lifting, Alexander MacLeod’s long-awaited first collection of short stories, offers us a suite of darkly urban and unflinching elegies for a city and community on the brink. These are stories of work and its bonds, of tragedy and tragedy barely averted, but also of love and beauty and fragile understanding.
©2010 Alexander MacLeod (P)2011 Iambik Audio Inc.
"Rarely does fiction inhabit the body – the moving, athletic body – as fully as in Alexander MacLeod’s debut story collection. Whether describing what it is to run track, to swim against a current, to build cars or to haul bricks, MacLeod brings into vivid concrete language the physical experiences that mark us as profoundly as any thought. His stories are a careful marriage of the lyric and the narrative: each unfolds around a resonant, ineffable moment, replete with history and emotion, a Gordian knot comprised of all the strands that lead up to and away from it. Sensitive and subtle, MacLeod is a writer through whose deliberately partial and quotidian pieces shimmers life’s unspoken complexity." (Giller Citation)
"What makes Light Lifting an impressive collection is its variety. I thought I had MacLeod nailed as an explorer of gritty masculinity and adrenalin-fuelled anger. But he can also be surpassingly delicate." (The National Post)
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