"Stories are not chapters of novels. They should not be read one after another, as if they were meant to follow along.
Read one. Shut the book. Read something else. Come back later. Stories can wait" - Mavis Gallant. In 1950, "The New Yorker" accepted one of Mavis Gallant's short stories for publication and she has since become the one of the most accomplished and respected short story writers of her time.
Gallant is an undisputed master whose peerless prose captures the range of human experience in her sweeping portraits set in Europe in the second half of the last century.
An expatriate herself, her stories deal with exile, displacement, of love and of estranged emotions, but they are never conventional.
This collection of fifty-two stories, written between 1953 and 1995, is timeless, to be savoured and re-read.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 912 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- Publication Date: 05/01/2004
- Category: Short stories
- ISBN: 9780747568063
Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews.
Review by Roseredlee
These are marvellous, first-rate short stories, and they make me think very much of Katherine Mansfield's work, no higher praise. Gallant was born in Canada and settled in Paris,a similar trajectory to that of Mansfield, who was a New Zealander who came to Europe around the time of World War 1. But the war that changed everything for Gallant was World War 2, and her best stories are at the very least haunted by it, the way it destroyed homelands and identities. Hard to pick out favourites, but 'The Pegnitz Junction' is a knockout, featuring a central German character, Christine, who during a post-war train journey with her boyfriend and his son (no such thing as a 'normal' family unit after the war),'hears' the thoughts of people she sees on the way, illuminating the displacement suffered by all, regardless of nationality