Mavis Gallant’s “Up North” (1959)


In “Saturday”, the mother had dreamed a different kind of life for her daughters. In “Up North”, Dennis’ mother is dreaming of a different kind of life for herself. She’s on a train, north of Montreal, heading for Abitibi, Quebec. That’s where Dennis’ father is working in the bush.

Mavis Gallant’s “Up North” (1959)2019-02-25T17:36:56-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “An Autobiography”


“I served coffee in cups with Liberté and Patrie and a green-and-white shield of the Vaud on them. The parents of a pupil had bought them in Montreux for me once." Erika is a school-teacher, in a village a half-day's train ride from Montreux, Switzerland. She teaches girls elementary

Mavis Gallant’s “An Autobiography”2018-05-15T10:53:52-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “Malcolm and Bea” (1968)


They are no longer only thieves and rascals: “All men are filth.” Bea is perhaps no more unhappy than Marian Kimber, but she is more outwardly disgruntled. And even though she says this with a laugh, there’s an undeniable edge to it. “My mother was a saint and my

Mavis Gallant’s “Malcolm and Bea” (1968)2018-03-05T15:06:08-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “Treading Water” (1982)


Fans of E.M. Delafield’s Provincial Lady’s diaries will find many chuckles in this very short excerpt from the imagined diary kept by composer Richard Wagner’s mistress (who became his wife seven years after their relationship began). The story is subtitled “More Sturm und Drang from Cosima Wagner’s Diaries” and

Mavis Gallant’s “Treading Water” (1982)2018-02-26T11:37:30-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “The Burgundy Weekend” (1970-1971)


Readers of Mavis Gallant’s early stories have endured a lot of unhappy spouses and unhappy children. In apartments and on beaches, in summer houses and on holiday, It’s hard enough; in confined quarters, it is stressful indeed. In “The Rejection” we have a divorced father and his daughter in

Mavis Gallant’s “The Burgundy Weekend” (1970-1971)2018-03-06T12:17:35-05:00
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