August 2019, In My Stacks


Earlier this summer, in June, I maxed out my library card. The box which usually holds my borrowed books was so full that it was bookish-Jenga to remove one (and forget trying to add one). A neighbouring table was also commandeered. Even, for a time, the floor space between

August 2019, In My Stacks2019-08-08T12:12:56-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “Lena” (1983)


Don’t be fooled: it’s still about Magdalena. Except she is called Lena by the “half a dozen widows of generals and bereft sisters of bachelor diplomats”. They “crowd her bedside table” – Magdalena’s/ Lena’s bedside table – with “bottles of cough mixture, lemons, embroidered table napkins, jars of honey,

Mavis Gallant’s “Lena” (1983)2019-08-07T11:04:39-05:00

Dear Barbara: Third of Four Letters


Eventually, as you know, the Ann Cleeves mystery moved away from ground-cover plants and birds, into politics and environmental conservation efforts. I’m still not entirely sure about the title, but the mere idea of The Crow Trap reminds me of Minette Walters’ The Scold’s Bridle (I understand she’s still

Dear Barbara: Third of Four Letters2019-08-08T13:05:09-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “The Colonel’s Child” (1983)


Here readers return to the story of the man who married Magdalena, to “save” her during the war and who, then, married the colonel’s daughter, Juliette. He is Edouard, the poet, but I persist in my belief that he is the character whom author Henri Grippes’ based on his

Mavis Gallant’s “The Colonel’s Child” (1983)2019-08-02T18:20:00-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “Rue de Lille” (1983)


The novelist who barely disguises the characters he has pulled from reality: here, again, it seems as though we catch a glimpse of another Poche. Now I wonder if Grippes wasn’t forced to camouflage him, after the moment in which Poche queried Grippes about when “What’s-His-Name struggles to prepare

Mavis Gallant’s “Rue de Lille” (1983)2019-08-01T19:52:26-05:00