Mavis Gallant’s “The Statues Taken Down” (1965)


Readers never meet her directly, but we are told that she looks like the Holbein portrait of Lady Barker. (Here shown in such a way that it’s easy to imagine a wallet photo.) This is the mother of Hal and Dorothy. Once George Crawley’s wife. On the surface, this

Mavis Gallant’s “The Statues Taken Down” (1965)2019-12-24T08:18:22-05:00

Shadow Giller: Ian Williams’ Reproduction (2019)


Ian Williams landed in my stack with his longlisting for the ReLit Award in 2011. This is why I read prizelists: they encourage me to read in different directions, when left to my own devices, I sometimes plod along, in familiar reading territory, simply out of habit. The title

Shadow Giller: Ian Williams’ Reproduction (2019)2019-10-21T13:49:25-05:00

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

Mavis Gallant’s “Larry”


“I saw Maggie about a year ago. She says she’s leaving everything to an arts foundation,” says Maggie’s half-brother, Larry. He’s talking to his father. Who was married, at one time, to Maggie’s mother. Larry’s father remains nameless, the Elder Pugh. Just as he “has no real age”

Mavis Gallant’s “Larry”2019-07-02T15:21:35-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “Thank You for the Lovely Tea” (1956)


Ruth is equal parts infuriating and hurting. Like Karin, in Alice Munro’s “Rich as Stink”, these girls are angered and confused by the connections they observe between the adults in their lives. In “Thank You for the Lovely Tea”, readers meet Ruth when she is desperate to be out of

Mavis Gallant’s “Thank You for the Lovely Tea” (1956)2019-02-04T18:27:47-05:00
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