Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve. Carol Shields Republic of Love

Mavis Gallant’s “One Morning in June” (1952)

In another collection, this story is called “One Morning in May”, and I wonder if anyone thought about renaming it “The Other Menton”. For as surely as the title story takes a young woman’s expectations of Paris and examines how they conflict with her real experience of the city, this story bursts the balloon of […]

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Mavis Gallant’s “The Picnic” (1952)

The weight of the brooch pulls the fabric of young Margaret Marshall’s picnic frock. It always hangs just fine off her navy blue shorts, but the light-weight dress doesn’t provide a suitable backdrop.

How disappointing for young Margaret, who so treasures this gift from Madame Pégorin, the photo of the woman’s beloved poodle encircled by seed […]

Margaret Millar’s Vanish in an Instant (1952; 2016)

Margaret Millar’s mysteries are being brought back into print by Soho Syndicate. The Master at Her Zenith volume is comprised of five of her well-known books, including the Edgar-winning Beast in View.

Throughout, her interest in psychology is evident. Both she and her characters are fascinated by detail. And the emotions which often erupt in […]

Daphne duMaurier’s The Birds

Daphne Du Maurier’s The Birds (1952) Arrow Books, 1992 Virago Modern Classic No. 498

My favourite story from this collection is “The Apple Tree”. Partly because I’ve long believed that there is more to a tree than one might think, thanks to years of reading L.M. Montgomery’s novels, in which heroines from Anne of Green […]

Co-reading Ethel Wilson

Ethel Wilson’s The Equations of Love Macmillan, 1952

When Melwyk said that she, too, only had this one Ethel Wilson left to read, we decided to read the two novellas published in Equations of Love together.

You know how it is, when you are about to exhaust a favoured writer’s fresh works: it’s best to […]