Mac Donald, Laura M. 1963–

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Mac Donald, Laura M. 1963–

PERSONAL: Born 1963, in Canada; immigrated to the United States; married.

ADDRESSES: HomeNew York, NY. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Walker & Co., 104 5th Ave., 7th Fl., New York, NY 10011. E-mail[email protected] mmacdonald.com.

CAREER: Writer. Former television and film producer.

WRITINGS:

(With Alex Pugsley) Kay Darling (novel), Coach House Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1994.

(With Greg Eckler) Bull!: 144 Stupid Statements from the Market's Fallen Prophets (nonfiction), Andrews McMeel (Kansas City, MO), 2003.

The Curse of the Narrows: The Halifax Disaster of 1917 (nonfiction), Walker (New York, NY), 2005.

SIDELIGHTS: Laura M. Mac Donald collaborated with Alex Pugsley to create the novel Kay Darling. It was inspired by the authors' own correspondence with each other, and in the words of a Publishers Weekly writer, it features "laugh-out-loud passages" as well as "more sober chapters" that depict the characters' inner reflections. Kay is working on a screenplay, but she spends more time procrastinating than writing. Her sister, Claire, is grappling with basic questions of identity and what to do with her life. Will is their cynical friend, a gay actor/writer. Their interactions are depicted through letters, scraps of Kay's screenplay, stream-of-consciousness passages, and the like, which "give perfect insight into each person," added the Publishers Weekly reviewer.

In The Curse of the Narrows: The Halifax Disaster of 1917, Mac Donald recounts the story of what is believed to be the most powerful man-made explosion ever detonated, prior to the atomic bomb. The blast was an accident, triggered when a heavily-laden munitions ship, the Mont Blanc, was struck by a Belgian ship while in the harbor at Halifax, Nova Scotia. More than 1,600 people died, with thousands more injured, and the shock waves generated by the explosion damaged all the buildings within a sixteen-mile radius of the blast, which was heard up to 225 miles away. A rain of oil, and a twenty-foot tsunami were also created by the explosion. To further complicate matters, the nightmarish accident was quickly followed by a huge blizzard. A Publishers Weekly reviewer called this book a "minutely detailed if not particularly lively" accounting of the tragedy. Another opinion was offered by George Cohen, who in Booklist credited Mac Donald with telling the story with "vivid detail." A writer for Kirkus Reviews described The Curse of the Narrows as a "well-constructed tale of a horrific unnatural disaster."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, August, 2005, George Cohen, review of The Curse of the Narrows: The Halifax Disaster of 1917, p. 1987.

Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2005, review of The Curse of the Narrows, p. 831.

Publishers Weekly, September 25, 1995, review of Kay Darling, p. 53; August 1, 2005, review of The Curse of the Narrows, p. 56.

San Diego Union-Tribune, October 23, 2005, Neal Matthews, review of The Curse of the Narrows.

ONLINE

Laura M. Mac Donald Home Page, http://www.laurammacdonald.com (March 8, 2006).