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 “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 “A Recollection” (1983)


The previous story ends with an imprisonment: “He had got the woman from church to dining room, and he would keep her there trapped, cornered, threatened, watched, until she yielded to Grippes and told her name – as, in his several incarnations, good Poche had always done.” I’m thinking

Mavis Gallant’s “A Recollection” (1983)2019-07-22T18:18:13-05:00

Québecois Reads: Sealing the Deal


The title of Pasha Malla’s 2015 article in The New Yorker’s Page-Turner says it all: “Too Different and Too Familiar: The Challenge of French-Canadian Literature.” Because it is a challenge to locate French-Canadian literature within the landscape of Canadian Literature, even for those of us who devote a significant

Québecois Reads: Sealing the Deal2019-05-27T18:57:14-05:00

May 2019, In My Reading Log


A single-sitting read, a summer road-trip, and Sesame Street: good reading. Margriet De Moor’s Sleepless Night (1989; Trans. David Doherty 2019) “Sleepless night succeeded sleepless night – agonized day followed agonized day.” This, from L.M. Montgomery’s 1918 journal, came to mind when I was reading Margriet De Moor’s Sleepless Night

May 2019, In My Reading Log2019-05-11T19:04:51-05:00