Mavis Gallant Archive

Foreignness and Familiarity in Mavis Gallant’s “Mlle. Dias de Corta”

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
Mavis Gallant’s “Mlle. Dias de Corta” unfolds more like a novel than a short story. It’s a second-person address to a tenant the narrator, an aging, xenophobic French widow, had twenty years before—a young actress, Alda Dias de Corta, whom the widow took in “for companionship rather than income.”

Triangular Relationships

Author: | Categories: Writing Advice No comments
In a previous blog post, I mentioned my difficulty with conflict and tension.  For this reason, I love triangular relationships, which bring up conflicting desires, competing loyalties, and dilemmas. All the things that make a juicy story go. When I was just starting out writing fiction, when my writing

Back to School Special: Thoughtful Imitation

Author: | Categories: Writing 1 Comment
I didn’t study creative writing as an undergraduate; it wasn’t an option. When I enrolled in the MFA program at University of Washington, what I craved more than workshop (which I’d experienced a few times in continuing education settings) was the elusive “craft” class: reading analytically not to make

Follow Your Nose

Author: | Categories: Writing 4 Comments
In my previous post, I suggested the possibility of creating an olfactory map of your neighborhood. I want to pursue this thought some more, because the sense of smell is somewhat neglected in creative writing. Of course, attending to all the senses is a basic, crucial element in any