Frank Macdonald novel nominated for the 2013 IMPAC

Frank MacdonaldA Possible MadnessCape Breton novel on IMPAC list

Macdonald’s second nomination for richest prize

Sydney, November 12, 2012 – Inverness writer Frank Macdonald’s novel A Possible Madness has been long-listed for the world’s richest literary prize for a single work.

This is Macdonald’s second nomination for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the largest and most international prize of its kind. A Forest for Calum was long-listed for the 2007 IMPAC.

Link to an article in the Cape Breton Post, November 12.

And the Chronicle Herald

The award is a partnership between Dublin City Council, the Municipal Government of Dublin City, and IMPAC, a productivity improvement company which operates in more than fifty countries. The process involves libraries from all corners of the globe, is open to books written in any language and is administered by Dublin City Public Libraries.

Shortlisted for an Atlantic Book Award in 2012, A Possible Madness (CBU Press, 2011) is the story of the fictional town of Shean, a small town of depleted resources and shrinking population. The lengths to which civic leaders will go in order to do “what’s best” for Shean has unintended consequences, including the threat of environmental degradation.

Shean’s politicians try to marginalize the few voices of dissent, including the local newspaper, but some voices are not easily silenced.

Macdonald’s gift for character development draws the reader into a scenario played out in countless rural communities across the country.

Earlier this year, A Possible Madness was selected as required reading for a course on public policy. MBA students in Edmonton, AB, were studying with Dr. Tom Urbaniak, an associate professor of political science at Cape Breton University.

The assignment: to make “a plan for Shean,” Macdonald’s fictional town.

Although it is a work of fiction, A Possible Madness reads as a realistic account a “depleted” rural community. The policy environment is “realistic,” reads the course outline.

“It is a good illustration of the consequences of ignoring [real issues] of sustainability.”

The lessons learned from A Possible Madness are not wasted on Macdonald’s local readership either. A handmade sign nailed to a roadside tree on Route 19 just east of Inverness shouts “Stop the Fracking Madness,” homage to the novel’s “madness” and a reference to the highly charged debate over a drilling method known as fracking (hydraulic fracturing).

While Frank Macdonald is quick to point out his book is a work of fiction, testimonials from readers suggest that it resonates as an account of the manner in which politicians and corporations are sometimes in conflict with communities. Linden MacIntyre, author of The Bishop’s Man and Why Men Lie says A Possible Madness is “all too plausible.” The Chronicle Herald calls the book “a cautionary tale with impeccable timing.”

Macdonald has a well-earned reputation for character development. A Globe and Mail review of best-selling A Forest for Calum stated that “Macdonald brings a grace and a hard-edged sensitivity … with such aplomb, such care and skill …” to his characters.

Alistair MacLeod – himself a winner of the IMPAC award for No Great Mischief – says “the characters [in A Possible Madness] are a combination of the thoughtless and the fearful, all of them of good heart; Frank Macdonald cares deeply about them both.”

Macdonald, long-time publisher of the Inverness Oran, is the award-winning author of A Forest for Calum, long-listed for the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. In 2010, he published T.R.’s Adventure at Angus the Wheeler’s, a children`s book, illustrated by Virginia McCoy. A Possible Madness is his second novel.

The 2013 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award shortlist will be announced in April 2013 and the winner announced in June in Dublin.


For more information on the book:

Link to an article in the Cape Breton Post, November 12.

And the Chronicle Herald

Posted by Mike Hunter on November 12, 2012