Other books byMavis Gallant
A NEW YORK REVIEW BOOKS ORIGINAL Mavis Gallant is a contemporary legend, a frequent contributor to The New Yorker for close to fifty years who has, in the words of The New York Times, "radically reshaped the short story for decade after decade." Michael Ondaatje's new selection of Gallant's work gathers some of the most memorable of her stories set in Europe and Paris, where Gallant has long lived. Mysterious, funny, insightful, and heartbreaking, these are tales of expatriates and exiles, wise children and straying saints. Together they compose a secret history, at once intimate and panoramic, of modern times.
Across the Bridge
A new collection of stories by Mavis Gallant is always a major publishing event. For this is the writer who–like Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro–has made Canadian short stories a presence on the world literary scene, and on our bestseller lists. In Across the Bridge four of the eleven stories are connected, following the fortunes of the Carette family in Montreal. In “1933” their widowed mother teaches Berthe and Marie to deny that she was a seamstress and to say instead that she was “clever with her hands.” In “The Chosen Husband” the luckless suitor Louis has to undergo the front-parlour scrutiny of Marie’s mother and sister: “But then Louis began to cough and had to cover his mouth. He was in trouble with a caramel. The Carettes looked away, so that he could strangle unobserved. ‘How dark it is,’ said Berthe, to let him think he could not be seen.” We then follow their marriage, the birth of Raymond, and Raymond’s flight from his mother and aunt to his eventual role as a motel manager in Florida. “‘The place was full of Canadians,’ he said. ‘They stole like raccoons...’” With the exception of “The Fenton Child,” an eerie story set in postwar Montreal, the other stories take place in the Paris Mavis Gallant knows so well. “Across the Bridge,” the title story, begins with the narrator’s mother throwing her reluctant daughter’s wedding invitations into the Seine. “I watched the envelopes fall in a slow shower and land on the dark water and float apart. Strangers leaned on the parapet and stared, too, but nobody spoke.” This is a superb collection of stories by a writer at the top of her form. From the Hardcover edition.
The Collected Stories of Mavis Gallant
With irony and an unfailing eye for the telling detail, Gallant weaves stories of such intricate simplicity and spare complexity that critics have rightly compared her with Henry James and Anton Chekhov. Readers will discover, or rediscover, the pleasure of reading one of the finest writers of our time.
In Home Truths, Mavis Gallant draws us into the tricky labyrinth of human behaviour, while offering readers her unique, clear-eyed vision of Canadians both at home and abroad. Ranging in time and place from small-town Quebec during the Depression, to Geneva and Paris in the 1950s, to contemporary Vancouver Island, these stories explore the remorseless cruelty of children, the tensions that affect all families, the dangerous but endearing naïveté of young girls in love with Europe, and the terrible distances that divide people who love each other. And in the celebrated “Linnet Muir” stories, Gallant draws on her own experiences to portray a sensitive and alarmingly perceptive young girl growing up in Montreal in the 1930s and 1940s. Incisive, darkly humorous, and compassionate, Home Truths is a vibrant collection of stories from one of our finest writers.