Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Spectator on Light Lifting

Over at the Hamilton Spectator this morning there is another excellent review of Light Lifting. We're at IFOA, on a Giller whirlwind: CTV interviews, special tapings, IFOA readings. Hopefully I'll be able to post photos and video and a report later. But, for now, this from the Spec:

Miracle Mile features two track athletes, one or two notches down from the ultra international elite, but still good enough to travel the world, make the Canadian team, to expect the perks and be fawned over.
What’s intriguing is the solitude MacLeod places the pair in, the final race they run, the context in which they compete. The title comes not from the Miracle Mile (run in 1954 at the Commonwealth Games in Vancouver), but from the ultimate game of chicken they’d play in a railway tunnel underneath the Detroit River. Not only do you get deep into the psyches of the lifelong friends, but you can smell their desperation, the scorching heat and power of the locomotive, feel the scurrying rats in the darkened Windsor-bound tunnel, feel the palpable tension between them on the track.
And that’s one of MacLeod’s strengths — bringing into play all the senses while ratcheting up the tension.
Windsor figures prominently in several other stories: Adult Beginner I (a young women who narrowly escapes drowning as a child in an undertow finds herself, ironically, in a different, yet similar predicament); The Loop (about a young boy’s drugstore delivery route, stopping at various rest homes and places where ex-Chrysler workers have holed up to live out their days after a life of tightening minivan bolts), and Light Lifting’s best story, The Number Three (which serves as both a paean to the above-mentioned minivan, and to the bereft, catatonic father and husband who has to face a cathartic moment, which unfortunately has come to define him).
MacLeod’s prose is reminiscent of Annie Proulx’s: It carries much weight in its sparse, straightforward style. More please, and soon.

You can read the whole review here. And if you're in Toronto tonight, come down to IFOA and see the Giller finalists.

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