Friday, October 29, 2010

A Canadian Gallant in Paris

Mavis Gallant is one of the foremost short story writers of our time. Only S. J. Perelman and John Updike have had more pieces published in The New Yorker than Gallant, who left her native Canada in the 1950s for the more sophisticated charms of Paris. She's still there physically, but not entirely psychologically. "I am a writer and, of course, a Canadian. Once, in Switzerland, emerging from a long anaesthetic, I had no idea where I was, or why. . . . I could hear someone speaking French and I thought I had been in a driving accident somewhere in Quebec." (From an interview in The Paris Review, Winter 1999.)

To watch a two-part 1965 CBC documentary on Gallant's life in Paris and her writing, click here.


Rattling Books' unabridged audio version of Mavis Gallant's Montreal Stories
received an AudioFile Earphones Award, and was named a Best Audio Book of the year by the magazine. To listen to an excerpt from her story "Florida," follow this link.