Mavis Gallant

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Author: Tracy Ware
Date: Fall 1999
From: Studies in Short Fiction(Vol. 36, Issue 4)
Publisher: Studies in Short Fiction
Document Type: Book review
Length: 613 words

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by Danielle Schaub. Twayne's World Authors Series. New York: Twayne, 1998. xv + 230 pages. $32.

In a refreshing opening, Danielle Schaub notes Mavis Gallant's belief that "curiosity about the writer's life kills interest in the work itself." After briefly noting the importance of Gallant's bilingual education, unhappy childhood, work as a journalist, and departure for Europe at 28, she moves to her main interest: the excellent short fiction that Gallant has been writing for the last five decades, usually for The New Yorker. The result is both superior to and longer than the usual Twayne volume.

The best part of this book is the stylistic analysis of particular stories. Schaub begins with an early story, "The Other Paris" (1953), which she regards as exemplary in its exposure of "the rather romanticized North American perception of France together with an insider's version revealing the nonglamorous aspects of French society after the war." That...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A90990572