The Globe and Mail obituary for the Rankin Family’s Raylene Rankin on October 10 began,
Raylene Rankin and Susan Crowe disagreed about a scene in Alistair MacLeod’s novel No Great Mischief. There is no way that the story’s narrator would take his brother all the way back to Cape Breton to die, argued Crowe.
“[Raylene] looked me in the eye and said, “You’re not from Cape Breton,” said Crowe of her friend and musical collaborator. . . .
I’m not from Cape Breton, but in editing the book I never questioned Alistair’s decision to provide that particular powerful ending. Sometimes editors are smart to assume that authors know what they are doing.