MacIntyre, Linden Joseph
Linden Joseph MacIntyre, writer and journalist (b at St. Lawrence, NL 29 May 1943). MacIntyre, a graduate of ST. FRANCIS XAVIER UNIVERSITY, grew up in Port Hastings, CAPE BRETON ISLAND amid a culture and people that continue to inform his literary works. He is an award-winning journalist and co-host of CBC's investigative journalism program the fifth estate. MacIntyre has also turned his talent for storytelling from the factual to the fictional, to considerable acclaim. His second novel, The Bishop's Man, won the 2009 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE.
Linden MacIntyre's first novel, The Long Stretch (1999), is set in the rural Cape Breton landscape of MacIntyre's childhood. The novel's vivid characters are troubled by wartime secrets and betrayals that explode into present-day violence. Throughout the work MacIntyre presents a complex network of family and clan relationships that change with the passing of generations.
In The Bishop's Man (2008) MacIntyre returns to the same cultural landscape, this time focusing upon Father Duncan MacAskill, the titular "Bishop's man," dispatched by the Bishop to clean up the messes of other priests. Following years as a missionary in Honduras and as a university dean, MacAskill returns to Stella Maris Parish in Cregnish, the home of his boyhood. Here, the seemingly abstract functions he had performed as the bishop's fixer take on a young face, and a blood tie. A suicide sends MacAskill in search of the truth behind a young man's death, and ultimately the truth of his own life. The Bishop's Man underscores the changing relationship between the Catholic Church and small, rural communities. It depicts the diminishment of the Church's ability to dictate community mores from the pulpit, and the community's loss of an unquestioning, feudal kind of faith that once permitted the Church and the priesthood to exploit that faith. MacIntyre plans to produce a third novel which will complete his Cape Breton trilogy.
Linden MacIntyre has also written non-fiction, drawing upon the experiences of his life and work as a journalist. He is the co-author, with Theresa Burke, of Who Killed Ty Conn (2001), the story of the tragic life and death of a bank robber whom MacIntyre befriended while working on a fifth estate feature. In 2006 MacIntyre published Causeway: A Passage from Innocence, a memoir of his boyhood built around recollections of the construction of the causeway: over a period of four years he witnessed the approaching future as an earth-and-stone link between mainland Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island. The memoir meditates on the gap between dreams of future prosperity and the reality of a highway which hurried people away faster than ever. At its centre, the work is an examination of the relationship between father and son, the waning Gaelic culture, and the transformation of a rural village; it gives readers insight into the formative influences that infuse MacIntyre's fiction.
In addition to receiving the Scotiabank Giller Prize for The Bishop's Man (2009), MacIntyre was awarded the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction (2007) and the WFNS Evelyn Richardson Prize for Non-Fiction (2007) for Causeway: A Passage from Innocence. Linden MacIntyre currently lives in Toronto, ON.