Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mavis Gallant's Paris Diary

from Slate

I live in a narrow street on the Left Bank, in Paris, closer to Montparnasse than St. Germain des Prés. We all look into the rooms of near neighbors, know the programs they watch, the musical instruments the children play, but we never acknowledge one another in the street. We do, however, nod and smile (but never speak) if an encounter takes place at Le Midi, the café-bistrot at the corner, on the Rue du Cherche-Midi. So much for local customs. In an apartment just across from mine, a distraught, lonely, barking poodle has been keeping us all awake at night...

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Mavis Gallant is the author of the short story collection Montreal Stories. Rattling Books' unabridged audio production of Montreal Stories was selected as one of 2007's twelve best fiction audiobooks by the U.S. audio book magazine AudioFile.