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Paris Stories by Mavis Gallant

Paris Stories

by Mavis Gallant

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388642,119 (4.12)39

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Stories are not chapters of novels. They should not be read one after another, as if they were meant to follow along. Read one. Shut the book. Read something else. Come back later. Stories can wait.

A showcase of literary pointillism creating densely detailed short stories, this deadpan-ly humorous collection captured the dizzying feelings of displacement and the self-delusion necessary for its exiled characters.

Favourite story: The Remission. Stream of consciousness is difficult enough as it is but to have a whole system of streams that intersect, flood, recede and expand, all bridged together by the quietly devastating overarching story about life slowly being bleached out in this paler version of colonial life, to this I say, all hail Gallant. ( )
1 vote kitzyl | Apr 8, 2019 |
Some of the most skillful, insightful and elegant stories. Self-exiled to Paris by choice, the Canadian born Gallant wrote (in this collection) about exiles. A former German POW in “The Latehomecomer” offers a post WWII view from the perspective of the conquered. An English woman living in the South of France with a dying husband “felt shot through with happiness sometimes, or at least by a piercing clue as to what bliss might be.” “The Moslem Wife” is the extraordinary story of a young hotel owner (born in France to English parents) who struggles between her desire for independence and the love of her husband as she survives WWII and the occupation separated from him.

Gallant wrote with startling perception about the relationships between people and the immense complications involved. “I described my husband’s recent death and repeated his last words, which had to do with my financial future and were not overly optimistic.” She addresses the major issues: Joy, love, death, taxes. “Grippes and Poches” revolves around taxes, possibly the only story to do so, certainly the only compelling one. A collection of extraordinary writing. ( )
  Hagelstein | Dec 24, 2016 |
Gallant's writing is pointillist, if one can refer to prose in this way ... a great deal of detail but often not tied to conventional narrative. Her tone usually is unsympathetic - she reports, does not obviously judge, nor try to understand her characters through airing their own self-deceptions. Overall the collection left me feeling quite hollow, chilled. I am glad I read this having heard much praiseworthy about her as an author but I won't read more. ( )
  TomMcGreevy | Feb 29, 2012 |
This is a collection of stories set in Europe, mostly Paris. The characters are well drawn, as is the setting. The sense is of lost, displaced people trying to find a sense of attachment and belonging. Some excellent writing. ( )
  snash | Dec 23, 2011 |
The perfect short story collection by a masterly writer. This book features stories set in Europe, often Paris. The characters are fearlessly drawn, the details are perfect, the collection evocative of time and place. There is a perfect clarity in the writing, a perfect wholeness to each work. ( )
2 vote Laura400 | Aug 9, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786163437, Audio CD)

Mavis Gallant is an undisputed master of the short story whose peerless prose captures the range of human experience while evoking time and place with unequaled skill. This new collection of fifteen of Gallant's stories, edited by best-selling author Michael Ondaatje, gathers the best of her many stories set in Europe and Paris, where Gallant has long lived.

Mysterious, funny, insightful, and heartbreaking, these are tales of expatriates and exiles, wise children and straying saints. They comprise a secret history, both intimate and panoramic, of modern times, offering a kaleidoscopic impression of the world within a world that is Paris.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:05 -0400)

"Mavis Gallant is a contemporary legend, a frequent contributor to The New Yorker for close to fifty years who has, in the words of The New York Times, "radically reshaped the short story for decade after decade." Michael Ondaatje's new selection of Gallant's work gathers some of the most memorable of her stories set in Europe and Paris, where Gallant has long lived. Mysterious, funny, insightful, and heartbreaking, these are tales of expatriates and exiles, wise children and straying saints. Together they compose a secret history, at once intimate and panoramic, of modern times"--Publisher's description.… (more)

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NYRB Classics

2 editions of this book were published by NYRB Classics.

Editions: 1590170229, 1590174224

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