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From the Fifteenth District

Mavis Gallant's collection of short stories is set in Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War.

Mavis Gallant

Set in Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War, the stories in this collection are incisive, nuanced portraits of émigrés and displaced people whose lives are in a state of turmoil and flux. Mavis Gallant's elegant, witty prose brings these characters and their complex situations fully to life.

From the Fifteenth District was a contender in Canada Reads 2008, when it was championed by Lisa Moore.

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From the book

In the south of France, in the business room of a hotel quite near to the house where Katherine Mansfield (whom no one in this hotel had ever heard of) was writing "The Daughters of the Late Colonel," Netta Asher's father announced that there would never be a man-made catastrophe in Europe again. The dead of that recent war, the doomed nonsense of the Russian Bolsheviks had finally knocked sense into European heads. What people wanted now was to get on with life. When he said "life," he meant its commercial business.

Who would have contradicted Mr. Asher? Certainly not Netta. She did not understand what he meant quite so well as his French solicitor seemed to, but she did listen with interest and respect, and then watched him signing papers that, she knew, concerned her for life.


From From the Fifteenth District by Mavis Gallant ©1973. Published by McClelland & Stewart.

Author interviews 

Master short story writer Mavis Gallant has died at the age of 91. Eleanor spoke to her in 2008 when her book "From the 15th District" was a Canada Reads finalist. 52:01

More about this book

Short story maven dies in Paris at age 91 2:24