Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Freebie: Light Lifting by Alexander MacLeod

Congratulations to LuAnn Ritsema, winner of last week's Friday Freebie: The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady by Elizabeth Stuckey-French.

This week's book giveaway is Light Lifting, Alexander MacLeod's debut collection of short stories.  A finalist for Canada's Scotiabank Giller Prize last year, Light Lifting is, according to Globe and Mail, "Impeccably structured, profoundly tragic....[It] makes courage its theme, frailty its balancing shadow."   Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of American Salvage, blurbed the collection thusly: "To read each story in this gorgeous collection is to live a series of rich and dangerous lives along the Canadian-Michigan border.  The forces threatening Alexander MacLeod’s characters include speeding trains, rip tides, lice, old age, automobile assembly lines, the exuberant despair of vacationing in Nova Scotia, and everything that lurks in the Detroit River.  MacLeod is a literary rock star, and his prose is wise and rowdy music."  For a good review of the book, I highly recommend this one which appeared in Canada's National Post last year and said, in part:
       Almost all MacLeod’s stories revolve around people being bustlingly active at work or play. His characters swim and play hockey, they lay bricks and they build cars. All these exertions are described with such knife-sharp precision and finesse that your own muscles may start tensing up as you read them.
       An undertow of anger tugs at more than a few of them, occasionally surfacing into violence. Many of the men have a need to prove themselves, either through barroom bluster or reckless acts of derring-do. In "Miracle Mile," the runners aren’t content to compete against each other on tracks, they also play a game of chicken by running through the tunnel beneath the Detroit River, risking being crushed by an oncoming train. In one tense passage, a runner manages to stay only a few seconds ahead of death: “Burner was there charging toward me, the only dark space in front of the light. He had this long line of spit hanging out of his mouth like a dog and the look on his face wasn’t fear but something more like rage.”
If you'd like a chance at winning a copy of Light Lifting, all you have to do is answer this question:

What novel won the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize, beating out four other short-listed books, including Light Lifting?  (You might refer to this earlier "Soup and Salad" page to find the answer)

Email your answer to

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line.  One entry per person, please.  Please e-mail me the answer, rather than posting it in the comments section.  Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until the contest closes at midnight on April 14--at which time I'll draw the winning name.  I'll announce the lucky reader on April 15.

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