Cape Breton’s Frank Macdonald Publishes New Novel

A Possible Madness a small town’s fight for survival

Award-winning novelist Frank Macdonald is set to launch his latest and much-awaited novel in Inverness, Cape Breton, later this month. 

A Possible MadnessA Possible Madnessis set in the fictional town of Shean, a Cape Breton coal-mining town down on its luck. Like many smallish and inelegant that dot the coastlines and crossroads of this country, Shean’s post-industrial economy is in desperate disrepair. When a global corporation plans a daring scheme to exploit the remaining coal from an improbable source at the expense of the local ecology, the town’s newspaper takes a closer look. An unlikely assortment of citizens take the corporation and the politicians to task for the closed-door deal that could put the town on the map, or indeed wipe it out.

A Possible Madness deals with a community struggling with its past and its future,” says best-selling author Alistair MacLeod, “something Macdonald manages with great sensitivity. It’s a novel about change and those caught up in its vortex,” he said.

Macdonald has a reputation for strong character development in his writing. In this novel, “the characters are a combination of the thoughtless and the fearful, but all of them are of good heart,” says McLeod. “Frank Macdonald cares deeply about them both.”

Cape Breton University Press editor-in-chief Mike Hunter thinks readers will draw parallels with economic development issues of small communities everywhere. “We see ourselves in Frank’s stories,” says Hunter. “And see our communities. In the fictional town of Shean, otherwise right-minded people have differing ideas about the meaning of prosperity.”

In a recent interview in The Chronicle Herald (July 10, 2011), Frank Macdonald says that while he doesn’t have the answers, A Possible Madness asks whether or not the price is too high.

A Possible Madnesswill be in stores July 20, and will be officially launched in Frank Macdonald’s hometown of Inverness on the evening of July 25, at the Inverness County Centre for the Arts.

Macdonald’s first novel A Forest for Calum was long-list­ed for the 2007 IMPAC International Dublin Literary Award. A long-time and award-winning columnist, Macdonald is an accomplished writer of short stories, drama, poetry and songs. His humorous, often satirical columns in the Inverness Oran have twice been anthologized; Assuming I’m Right in 1990 became a stage production that has toured Nova Scotia and elsewhere in Canada. His play Her Wake won Best Canadian Play at the Liverpool International Theatre Festival in 2010 and, also in 2010, he authored T.R.’s Adventure at Angus the Wheeler’s, a children`s book, illustrated by Virginia McCoy. Frank lives in Inverness, Cape Breton. A Possible Madness is his second novel.