I decided to read a few books by Mavis Gallant over the Christmas break. I read Mavis Gallant’s writing during my undergraduate degree in university. However, I knew she was great in these days too. However, since I had to take 4 other courses a semester, it was hard to give her books more than a cursory read.
What a great week of reading it was too! Now that I had time to read her books slowly, I just love her books! And this book does not disappoint either!
The first thing that drew me to the book was to cover. I used to live in a Toronto high-rise. And I put my desk up against the window too with a grand new–but not quite as grand as this one, although I did have a church across the road from my apartment.
Mavis Gallant, not surprisingly, has established an international following as one of the world’s greatest short-story writers. Critics have just ranked her with such masters as Checkhov and Henry James. And she is a Canadian author who now lives in Paris.
In this volume, admirers of Gallant’s work can enjoy a major selection of her non-fiction writings composed of essays and reviews written between 1968 and 1985. The collection opens with her two-part New Yorker series, and continues from there. It is a must-read by all Canadian readers who are interested in great works of nonfiction.
One may sometimes assume that nonfiction is easier to write than fiction. But this does not necessarily have to be the case, as we can see in this book.
Mavis Gallant has an amazing breathe and wit and writes nonfiction with prosaic intensity and accuracy. It is wonderful to read writing that is this great!
What a gem of a book!
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth