Mavis Gallant Archive

Belonging and Paris Stories

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While the stories in Mavis Gallant’s 2002 collection don’t always center on Paris, a number of the characters have some sort of imagined relationship to the city, using it as a stand-in for their own lack of belonging.

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

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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

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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

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  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