All of Alistair MacLeod
's fiction is set in Nova Scotia, on the eastern Canadian seaboard, and all of his characters are miners, fisherman, loggers, and their wives and offspring. Historically, his characters are poised on the edge of a series of generations who spoke Gaelic and hauled nets, quarried the earth, felled trees and plowed the recalcitrant winter soil. But now the descendants of these tough people want their sons to go to the universities, grow over 6 feet tall, and die gentler deaths. Change has finally come to pastoral Nova Scotia. Over the last 33 years, MacLeod has published just 16 short stories based on these characters, and they've now been pulled together in one collection, Island: The Complete Stories
. Hear the bard of the Cape at the Regulator Bookshop in Durham on Monday, April 15 at 7 p.m. Call 286-2700 for details.