Mavis Gallant’s “Vacances Pax” (1966)


Dedicated short story writers make choices with every sentence. Short stories aren’t novels that ended too soon. They’re not short because there’s a paper shortage or a deadline. Short fiction is short on purpose. So, when a writer like Mavis Gallant chooses her words, it’s a deliberate process. Last

Mavis Gallant’s “Vacances Pax” (1966)2020-01-13T15:42:46-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “His Mother” (1973)


Mavis Gallant’s first sentences are clear and purposeful: they orient readers and offer a glimpse of the story’s tone. “His mother had come of age in the war and then seemed to live a long greyness like a spun-out November.” Another remarkable aspect of her craft is the way

Mavis Gallant’s “His Mother” (1973)2018-12-18T15:14:34-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “Ernst in Civilian Clothes”


"It is an attested fact that he was born in Mainz. Mainz is a place he passed through once, in a locked freight car when he was being transported through France with a convoy of prisoners." Willi and Ernst were prisoners of war together and in "Willi", Mavis Gallant's

Mavis Gallant’s “Ernst in Civilian Clothes”2018-05-22T10:16:57-05:00

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
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