Mavis Gallant’s “Irina” (1974)


We mean it kindly, when we say that a short story contains a novel. For many of us are novel-lovers, first or only, and, so, this seems a high compliment. What we are observing is how quickly an author can beckon us into the heart of a character, how

Mavis Gallant’s “Irina” (1974)2020-06-02T12:00:51-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “The Latehomecomer” (1974)


Just four weeks ago, I was commenting on the first story in From the Fifteenth District, a novella, and noting how many key elements of Mavis Gallant’s storytelling were present in “The Four Seasons”. In “The Latehomecomer”, not only do some familiar elements resurface, but an actual character reappears.

Mavis Gallant’s “The Latehomecomer” (1974)2018-11-19T18:14:22-05:00

Quarterly Stories: Autumn 2018


Groff, Huebert, Moore, Smith and Thien Short Stories in July, August and September Whether in a dedicated collection or a magazine, these stories capture a variety of reading moods. Over the summer, I've chatted about some of these at length. In particular, Madeleine Thien's

Quarterly Stories: Autumn 20182018-11-21T12:48:47-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “The Ice Wagon Going Down the Street” (1963)


Reading this story might change your reading life forever. That's what happened to Peter Orner, whose essay on Mavis Gallant's stories is mesmerizing: "The Way Vivid, Way Underappreciated Short Stories of Mavis Gallant", published in The Atlantic's "By Heart" series. "The first story I read is called 'The Ice Wagon

Mavis Gallant’s “The Ice Wagon Going Down the Street” (1963)2020-05-21T15:56:26-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “An Unmarried Man’s Summer” (1963)


Walter is just a kid, in comparison to the elderly widows with whom he spends most of his time. And perhaps when he's driving his sporty little Singer, he's not thinking about ending things. But in quiet moments, despair sneaks up on him. Promenade des anglais, Nice, 1960

Mavis Gallant’s “An Unmarried Man’s Summer” (1963)2017-08-08T13:33:40-05:00
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