Mavis Gallant’s “The Fenton Child”


“‘Newborn, they’ve got these huge peckers,’ said Mr. Fenton. ‘I mean, really developed.’” When it comes to writing about Mavis Gallant’s short stories, I often want to begin with their first sentences. Sometimes there is such a swell of emotion at the story’s end, a marvelling at how entire

Mavis Gallant’s “The Fenton Child”2020-06-19T15:53:33-05:00

Dear Reader: What’s Told? Or, the Telling of It?


In my recent reading, it’s been as much about how the story is told as it’s been about the story itself. This certainly isn’t a new idea—these examples span three decades—but sometimes the phenomenon is more prevalent in my stacks. Maybe you’ve read some of these, or maybe

Dear Reader: What’s Told? Or, the Telling of It?2020-05-15T15:05:12-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “Kingdom Come”


If only Dr. Dominic Missierna could arrange for a weekly dinner with Charles Filandreux (from “Siegfried’s Memoirs” in Coming Ashore) and Henri Grippes (from “A Painful Affair” in Overhead in a Balloom). Every year weighs heavily on these men, even though the time seems to have passed too quickly

Mavis Gallant’s “Kingdom Come”2020-05-08T15:00:10-05:00

Here and Elsewhere: Copenhagen


It’s easy to allow one’s world to get smaller, when one is overwhelmed by some of the sadness and struggle in this world; the opposite is also true, that it’s easy to expand your world under the same set of circumstances. A random spark, like this desk calendar by

Here and Elsewhere: Copenhagen2020-06-02T07:36:48-05:00

August 2019, In My Bookbag


In which there is talk of the slim stories which have travelled with me within the city. While bulkier volumes stayed home. Like Robertson Davies' Murther and Walking Spirits (1991). And Nazanine Hozar's Aria (2019). These are awkward travelling companions: thick and heavy But some of the skinnies in

August 2019, In My Bookbag2019-09-20T17:02:12-05:00