Celebrated Canadian short story writer Mavis Gallant has died at the age of 91, according to her publisher. Gallant, who spent most of her life in Paris, is known for collections such as Montreal Stories
, Going Ashore
and 1981's Home Truths
, which earned her a Governor General's Literary Award. She is considered one of Canada's finest writers of short fiction.
Following news of Gallant's death, we revisit Jian's conversation with the great writer originally broadcast in May 2009. You can listen to the audio (which
runs 18:43) by clicking here
or on the listen button above.
Stories belong to their time
was on the show to discuss a resurfaced collection of her lost stories,
some of which she felt as though someone else had written. With
humility and good humour, Gallant reflects on her evolution as a writer
and why she feels every story is "attached to its period".
"I can't imagine something that's just floating in free time," said Gallant.
She also reflects on interviewing Jean-Paul Sartre as a young journalist, why writers must block out reality when immersing themselves in a piece, and why she believes that no one life is more interesting than any other.
"If you start thinking or believing that you're this or that, or different, I think you would start writing rubbish," she said. "And I'm not playing little miss goody-goody."
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CBC Digital Archives: Mavis Gallant, a Canadian in Paris
CBC Books: Mavis Gallant's remarkable career
CBC Ideas: The Four Seasons of Mavis Gallant