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A collection of ten stories by the author of In Transit blends subtle nuances, an ironic eye for detail, and rich simplicity as she writes about the illusions that individuals create and destroy amid life's complexities. 10,000 first printing.
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Born in Montreal in 1922, Mavis Gallant left a career as a leading journalist in that city to move to Paris in 1950 to write.
Since that time she has been publishing stories on a regular basis in The New Yorker, many of which have been anthologized. Her world-wide reputation has been established by books such as From the Fifteenth District and Home Truths, which won the Governor General’s Award in 1982. In that same year she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, becoming a Companion of the Order in 1993, the year that she published Across the Bridge and was the recipient of a special tribute at the Harbourfront International Festival of Authors in Toronto. In 1996, The Selected Stories of Mavis Gallant was published to universal acclaim. Paris Stories, a selection edited by Michael Ondaatje, appeared in 2002, and was followed by the companion volume Montreal Stories, edited by Russell Banks, in 2004.
Gallant is a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She has received several honorary degrees from Canadian universities and remains a much-sought-after public speaker. In 2001 she became the first winner of the Matt Cohen Award, and in 2002 she won the Blue Metropolis International Literary Grand Prix and the Rea Award for the Short Story.
She continues to live in Paris.
Eleven more spare, elegant stories from French-Canadian author Gallant (In Transit, 1989, etc.), ten of which first appeared in The New Yorker. Interconnected vignettes of the family Carette form the first four stories. In ``1933,'' a newly widowed but stalwart Mme. Carette is forced to move with her young daughters Berthe and Marie to a smaller apartment in a seedy street in Montreal. Sixteen years later, in ``The Chosen Husband,'' a still resolute Mme. Carette arranges a marriage for her feeble-witted younger child Marie. By the 60's, in ``From Cloud to Cloud,'' Marie's husband has died and Marie must move in with older sister Berthe; meanwhile, Marie's 18- year-old son Raymond steals the family Volkswagen and flees to the US and Vietnam. ``Florida'' recounts his subsequent spotty career in the motel trade. Other stories are divided between Montreal and Paris, where Gallant has lived since the 1950's. In ``Dede,'' an upper-class Parisian schoolboy is braced by a visit from his black- sheep uncle. In the lengthy title story, a feisty French-Italian girl almost succeeds in overturning her mother's plan that she marry Arnaud Pons, son of Parisian family friends--until she discovers that marrying Arnaud is exactly what will make her happy. In ``Forain'' and the lovely ``A State of Affairs,'' Gallant touchingly follows the now circumscribed lives of a handful of elderly Central European refugees in Paris. And in the final, brilliant ``The Fenton Child,'' she returns to Montreal, where a proper Irish Catholic girl--with a charming ward-heeler for a father--aids in what she comes to realize is an illegal adoption arranged for an ``English'' family in the district. In each of these pieces and others, the details are all: shades of meaning turn on the condition of the furnishings and the color of the light. Another fine collection from Gallant. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description McClelland & Stewart, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110771034598