All the Bears Sing

Harold Macy is an elo­quent and gif­ted writer who cap­tures the soul of a per­son, an­im­al or the land­scape in a sen­tence or two or even less.

His most re­cent book, a col­lec­tion of short stor­ies titled All the Bears Sing, is in­hab­ited by a range of coastal char­ac­ters ran­ging from gentle souls to those who find them­selves stand­ing on the out­skirts of main­stream so­ci­ety either by choice or circumstance.

And, no mat­ter which lens the au­thor is look­ing through, each per­son­al­ity is ex­plored from the in­side out, be­com­ing as real as your next-door neighbour.

I met Harold 36 years ago at a writ­ing con­fer­ence at Strathcona Park Lodge. We were wanna be writers thrilled to be shar­ing meals and con­ver­sa­tion with real au­thors and even a pub­lish­er. I re­mem­ber sit­ting on the floor of Harold’s cab­in one af­ter­noon read­ing pages from his ma­nu­script while he poun­ded away on an old elec­tric typewriter.

San Josef, the nov­el he was work­ing on, re­mains close to my heart, both for the in­trigue and in­sight into the story of Danes at­tempt­ing to settle the north­ern tip of Vancouver Island, as well as the be­gin­ning of a friend­ship that has las­ted decades.

Like most writers, work­ing and rais­ing a fam­ily meant Harold juggled com­mit­ments with writ­ing time. Now he bal­ances the chal­lenges of Parkinson’s with words on the page.

But writ­ing has re­mained a steady com­pan­ion. Over the years, a series of note­books have resided in Harold’s pock­et and on his bed­side table ready to cap­ture ran­dom thoughts. When words co­alesce into a story, he turns them over to Judy, his wife and trus­ted first reader.

Harold’s award-win­ning short stor­ies have ap­peared in Prism International, Malahat Review, Orion and oth­er lit­er­ary pub­lic­a­tions. His first book, The Four Storey Forest, As Grow the Trees, So Too the Heart, was pub­lished in 2011. 

All the Bears Sing is the cul­min­a­tion of a life­time of liv­ing and work­ing in the woods on the BC coast, of­ten with a big dog by his side. Harold is an as­tute ob­serv­er of people, an­im­als and the nat­ur­al world. His words come from a deep place; his stor­ies are evoc­at­ive and thought-provoking.