They are no longer only thieves and rascals: “All men are filth.” Bea is perhaps no more unhappy than Marian Kimber, but she is more outwardly disgruntled. And even though she says this with a laugh, there’s an undeniable edge to it. “My mother was a saint and my
Fans of E.M. Delafield’s Provincial Lady’s diaries will find many chuckles in this very short excerpt from the imagined diary kept by composer Richard Wagner’s mistress (who became his wife seven years after their relationship began). The story is subtitled “More Sturm und Drang from Cosima Wagner’s Diaries” and
Readers of Mavis Gallant’s early stories have endured a lot of unhappy spouses and unhappy children. In apartments and on beaches, in summer houses and on holiday, It’s hard enough; in confined quarters, it is stressful indeed. In “The Rejection” we have a divorced father and his daughter in
As short as “Mousse” and as sharply assembled, “On with the New in France (1981)” presents an itemized list of grievances from a frustrated citizen. In just under a thousand words, the story opens with a nod towards “La Vie Parisienne”, with a complaint rooted in the resident’s lodgings.
Wishart has summer plans. They remind me of Walter’s widow-soaked season in “An Unmarried Man’s Summer”. Here, however, Bonnie is a divorcee. “Like many spiteful, snobbish, fussy men, or a certain type of murderer, Wishart chose his friends among middle-aged solitary women.” It’s not just for effect, this comment: