Mavis Gallant’s “Gabriel Baum 1935-” (1979)


When readers meet Gabriel it is 1960 and he is twenty-five years old, fresh from having served in the French army for twenty months in Algeria. “War had never been declared. What Gabriel had engaged in was a long tactical exercise for which there was no compensation except experience.”

Mavis Gallant’s “Gabriel Baum 1935-” (1979)2018-11-28T15:03:06-05:00

Mavis Gallant’s “The Latehomecomer” (1974)


Just four weeks ago, I was commenting on the first story in From the Fifteenth District, a novella, and noting how many key elements of Mavis Gallant’s storytelling were present in “The Four Seasons”. In “The Latehomecomer”, not only do some familiar elements resurface, but an actual character reappears.

Mavis Gallant’s “The Latehomecomer” (1974)2018-11-19T18:14:22-05:00

Shadow Giller: Eric Dupont’s Songs for the Cold of Heart (2012; Trans. Peter McCambridge, 2018)


Shadow Giller review contents: In Short, a 300-word and spoiler-free summary, intended to have a broad appeal; In Detail, elaborating on one aspect of the book which I found remarkable (perhaps only interesting for others who have read the book or who have an interest more mechanical aspects of

Shadow Giller: Eric Dupont’s Songs for the Cold of Heart (2012; Trans. Peter McCambridge, 2018)2018-11-17T16:06:21-05:00

Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight (2018)


If The Cat’s Table (2011) was a slow and steady unravelling of a young boy’s memories, yarn taut and tidy, Warlight is a mass of moth-eaten fragments, remnants of a finely-crafted woollen garment pulled from a trunk. A thing of beauty, yes, but the devastation is the first thing

Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight (2018)2018-08-02T16:41:25-05:00

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