Alistair MacLeod was born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, in 1936 and raised among an extended family in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. In his early years, to finance his education he worked as a logger, a miner, and a fisherman, and wrote vividly and sympathetically about such work. He published two internationally acclaimed collections of short stories: The Lost Salt Gift of Blood and As Birds Bring Forth the Sun. In 1999, MacLeod’s first novel, No Great Mischief, was published and later won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. In the spring of 2000, MacLeod retired from the University of Windsor, Ontario, where he was a professor of English. He died in Windsor on April 20, 2014.