Author Mavis Gallant
January 6-15, 2015
From the Fifteenth District
(short stories – literary fiction)
Release date: December 16, 2014
at Open Road Integrated Media
Even as we grow and change, the consequences of what we have left behind often linger
Mavis Gallant has a unique talent for distilling the sense of otherness one feels abroad into something tangible and utterly understandable. In this collection, she relates the stories of those stranded in relationships, places, and even times in which they don’t belong.
In “The Moslem Wife” a woman is entrusted to look after a hotel in France when her husband is trapped in America after the breakout of World War II. As the situation progresses, the two grow in surprising and profound ways. In another tale, a German prisoner of war is released from France and returns home to a mother whose personality has been as irrevocably changed by the war as his has. In one of the most poignant entries, Gallant follows the life of a Holocaust survivor, illustrating how his experiences tint his outlook on life forty years later.
With its wide breadth of subject matter and the author’s characteristic way with nuance, From the Fifteenth District is classic Mavis Gallant. [provided by the publisher]
FROM THE FIFTEENTH DISTRICT
“[From the Fifteenth District] is a splendidly written work, full of nuance and personality and compellingly evocative detail.” —Canadian Literature
“A fine-tuned and elegant collection.” —Kirkus Reviews
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
In 1952 Mavis Gallant (1922–2014) left a successful career as a journalist in Montreal
to live independently as a writer of fiction in Europe.
She had gained international recognition in 1951
when she was published in the New Yorker,
which in subsequent years released over one hundred of her short stories,
most of which are set in European cities or Montreal.
Random House published twelve volumes of her work.
Gallant was awarded the 1981 Governor General’s Award for Home Truths,
the 2002 Rea Award for the Short Story,
and the 2004 PEN/Nabokov Award for lifetime achievement.
She was a companion of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest honor.
After traveling widely in Europe, in 1960 Gallant settled in Paris, where she died in 2014.
The Journals of Mavis Gallant: 1952–1969 is tentatively scheduled for publication by Alfred A. Knopf in 2015.
These passages are masterpieces and I do hope that you’ll consider given them a try. I don’t think you’ll regret it in the least. Bringing her own experiences to the page, her own emotions. Truly an amazing piece of literature.
Gallant’s prose is worthy of savoring and rereading. Her turn of phrase and diction echo times past and put you there, in that time and place of a Europe confused and altered by war.
Highly recommended and a five-star literary read.
Gallant has marvelous narrative style: she manages to pack background, judgment, descriptive details, sense of place, and lyrical loveliness into every sentence.
These are some masterfully crafted stories, bound to please fans of the genre, and a wonderful example for those new to short stories of how they should be written.
All of the stories were breathtaking to read for the first time and some made me want to reread them immediately.
I found myself reading slowly to absorb the story, yet turning the pages quickly to see what would happen next.
All of the stories are melancholy in tone and have a stream of consciousness feel with meandering narratives.
If you enjoy historical fiction set during World War II, then these stories are definitely worth giving a try. They are certainly unique among the vast array of short stories I have read and reviewed.
Each story is like peeking into someone’s window and seeing the real them, the one they might hide from the rest of the world.
The black and white cover is foreshadowing of the stories to come as they definitely have a melancholy feel throughout. The richness of Gallant’s words only deepen the effect.
This is a book filled with stories of deep emotion that dig beneath the surface Europe we love.
Gallant writes with some truly beautiful figurative language
This collection of short stories was a piece of literature. I highly recommend these stories for anyone that wants gratifying reads with a very literary feel!
An unforgettable collection of literary short stories. Gallant’s prose is striking in its simplicity and precise style.
A provoking collection of short stories examining human relationships with keen observation and depth, fatalistic and compassionate.