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Can Anyone Recommend a”Greater Great” Mavis Gallant Book?

Help me, cyberreaders. You’re my only hope.

In the early 1990’s I kept noticing a bunch of Mavis Gallant stories in the New Yorker (or maybe in short story anthologies). I kept passing them over; her style seemed too New Yorkerish (if you know what I mean).

One bored afternoon I picked up a random New Yorker issue and read a longish story by her from start to finish. It was exhilarating, and I finally “got it.” I’ve always been meaning to get back to her, but never have (and if other bloggers keep giving me literary recommendations, maybe I never will). On the off chance that a random web surfer actually is familiar with what Gallant has written, I would appreciate a recommendation; of course, the easy thing to do is to buy the Collected Stories (currently retailing for $39), but I did that once for a Colette volume; I’ve only nibbled here and there from that volume because the stories covered such a wide range.

Of course, one might say that because a writer is great, anything he/she writes is worth reading for its own sake. A film buff friend of mine distinguishes between the “lesser great” films of Hitchcock and the “greater great” films (the implication being that all of his ouvre is great, but only in various gradations).

Anybody? (And no, I don’t think that poker downloadable online tournaments or poker stud 8 freeware are actual Gallant titles).

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Zan 3/14/2011, 11:51 am

    You posted this 6 yrs ago, and if you’re still looking, I recommend her collection The Other Paris – I read it for a paper last year, and absolutely loved it. This year, I’m going through Montreal Stories, and I like what I see so far…

    It’s too bad that Gallant is overlooked many times by critics and teachers in favour of Munroe or Atwood. I love Gallant and wish I’d been exposed to her earlier.

    Happy Reading!

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