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MacNeil, Beatrice (Theresa) 1945–

MacNeil, Beatrice (Theresa) 1945–

PERSONAL: Born May 12, 1945, in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada; daughter of Neil and Beatrice (a homemaker; maiden name, Sampson) MacDonald; married Michael J. MacNeil, February 6, 1965 (divorced, April, 1986); married Michael B. MacDonald, April 8, 1989; children: Darren, Gregory, Stanley, Leeann. Ethnicity: "Scottish and French Acadian." Education: Attended University College of Cape Breton and Toronto School of the Arts. Politics: "Liberal." Religion: Roman Catholic.

ADDRESSES: Home and office—73 Nichols Rd., East Bay, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada B1J 1C3.

CAREER: Writer. Evening of Fiddles and Prose (annual gathering), founder and performer, c. 1993–; gives readings from her works; guest on Canadian media programs. Worked as night supervisor of unwed mothers in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada.

AWARDS, HONORS: Original script award, University College of Cape Breton, 1985, for The Dream; Dartmouth Book Award, 1994, for The Moonlight Skater: Nine Cape Breton Stories and The Dream, and 2003, for Butterflies Dance in the Dark; Mariana Dempster Canadian Authors Award, Nova Scotia category, 1996, for There Is a Mouse in the House of Miss Crouse; Tic Butler Award, 1999, for outstanding contribution to Cape Breton writing and culture; Canada Council grants.


The Moonlight Skater: Nine Cape Breton Stories and The Dream, edited by Ronald Caplan, Breton Books (Wreck Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada), 1993.

The Cat That Ate the Moon (juvenile), Sea Cape Publishing, 2001.

Butterflies Dance in the Dark (novel), Key Porter Books (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2002.

Author of short stories and nearly a dozen plays, including Company D, The Dream, and French Song. Work represented in anthologies. Contributor to magazines and newspapers in Canada and the United States.

ADAPTATIONS: The plays Company D and French Song were adapted for radio by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Halifax.

WORK IN PROGRESS: While Our Stones Were Still Drowning, a collection of short stories; Where White Horses Gallop, a novel based on the Cape Breton Highlanders in World War II.

SIDELIGHTS: Beatrice MacNeil told CA: "I began writing when I lived in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in the 1960s. It was a city that rarely let one get a glance at the moon. I was lonesome for the people I had grown up with in my small Acadian village near the Atlantic Ocean.

"My characters are always rural, colorful people. Everyday, there is something new and colorful: from wakes to funerals, to strangers riding by, providing the imagination with a fictional twist. I believe that fiction happened somewhere, and I'd like to spread it everywhere."

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