Notes from the Gate: A remembrance of Mavis Gallant

 
9780968071861: Notes from the Gate: A remembrance of Mavis Gallant

A controversial text that will surprise and challenge you. Walter Bruno met writer Mavis Gallant in 1983 and remained her friend and confidant until her death in 2014. During those thirty years, more than 500 letters were exchanged, many featured for the first time in this book. The letters are a mix of table talk and diary entries, on topics ranging from personal life to literary tastes and standards. Bruno and Gallant defended one aesthetic tradition, now under attack, and had similar politics. Here, they share laughs over trends of the era, and explore what troubles them most: the growth of identity politics, especially in the arts. A few sacred cows are sacrificed in the chatter. A major thread in this period is Gallant’s alienation from the New Yorker magazine, as that publication is taken over by newcomers. On that matter some well-known names are mentioned, rarely for praise. The book is primarily Bruno’s record of the era and of what became, for him, life-defining dialogues. Much of the tone is sly; however, age and infirmity loomed for Gallant. Despite her titanic standing in the world, she struggled to survive. Bruno foresaw that future, but was unable to help, which is perhaps the major motif of this memoir.

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