Born in Vancouver in 1954, Maclean is the grandson of the co-founder of Maclean's publishing group. He grew up in Toronto. His first novel, Stalin's Nose was followed by The Oatmeal Ark: Across Canada By Water (HarperCollins 1996), a travel adventure that combines history and fiction. The protagonist discovers he has inherited a small island off Canada's Pacific coast via a tax notice that was 21 years overdue.

[BCBW 2003] "Fiction"