McClelland & Stewart, Apr 6, 2010 - 376 pages
One of the world’s great short-story writers emerges with a selection of stories from her past, a trove of hidden treasures.
Mavis Gallant moved from Montreal to Paris in 1950 to write short stories for a living. Since then she has continued to write, producing a remarkable body of work. In 1993, Robertson Davies said: “She has written many short stories. My calculation suggests that she has written in this form at least the equivalent of twenty novels.”
Many of her stories have been anthologized, notably in the 1996 classic Selected Stories, from which hundreds of pages had to be cut for reasons of length.
These “embarrassment of riches” stories are restored in this collection, along with many other neglected treasures from her past. Arranged in the order in which they appeared, they shed light on people living through most of the second half of the 20th century.
More important, they show one of the greatest short-story writers of our time at work, delineating a series of worlds with dramatic flair, dazzlingly precise language, a wicked wit, and a vivid understanding of the human condition.
Even Mavis Gallant’s most devoted admirers will find many stories here that they do not know. For newer admirers, this will prove to be a wonderful source of constant pleasure, leaving only the great mystery: How does she do it?
From the Hardcover edition.
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