Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mavis Gallant Featured in The Paris Review's Art of Fiction

The Art of Fiction No. 160
from The Paris Review
Winter 1999

INTERVIEWER: Does it bother you that there are true stories that you’ll never put down?

GALLANT: It depends on what you call a true story. A journalism student in Germany once told me she was bothered by the fact that the most plain and simple and ordinary news stories could conceal an important falsehood. She gave me an example, say, a couple celebrating their seventieth wedding anniversary. They will sit holding hands for the photographer and they’ve had their ups and downs over the years, but the marriage has been a happy one. The reporter can only repeat what they say. But what if the truth is that they positively hate each other? In that case, the whole interview is a lie. I told her that if she wanted to publish the lie perceived behind the interview, she had to write fiction. (She became a critic, by the way.)

To see The Paris Review's page on Mavis Gallant, follow this link.


The unabridged audio edition of Mavis Gallant's short story collection, Montreal Stories (published as Varieties of Exile in the United States), is narrated by Margot Dionne and published by Rattling Books.