The Herald of Glasgow called Alistair MacLeod was “one of the greatest living writers in English.” That’s despite the fact that the Canadian’s output was relatively small. He only published one novel, No Great Mischief, (which he wrote over the course of 13 years), and fewer than two dozen short stories (which were all collected in the volume, Island). Rugged Cape Breton was his emotional heartland, and where he set most of his fiction. A perfectionist, he explained, “I take a lot of time thinking about what I’m writing.” He died recently at the age of 77. And you can hear Leonard’s interview with him from January, 2001.