In Home Truths, Mavis Gallant draws us into the tricky labyrinth of human behaviour, while offering readers her unique, clear-eyed vision of Canadians both at home and abroad. Ranging in time and place from small-town Quebec during the Depression, to Geneva and Paris in the 1950s, to contemporary Vancouver Island, these stories explore the remorseless cruelty of children, the tensions that affect all families, the dangerous but endearing naïveté of young girls in love with Europe, and the terrible distances that divide people who love each other. And in the celebrated “Linnet Muir” stories, Gallant draws on her own experiences to portray a sensitive and alarmingly perceptive young girl growing up in Montreal in the 1930s and 1940s. Incisive, darkly humorous, and compassionate, Home Truths is a vibrant collection of stories from one of our finest writers.
Born in Montreal in 1922, Mavis Gallant left a career as a leading journalist in that city to move to Paris in 1950 to write.
Since that time she has been publishing stories on a regular basis in The New Yorker, many of which have been anthologized. Her world-wide reputation has been established by books such as From the Fifteenth District and Home Truths, which won the Governor General’s Award in 1982. In that same year she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, becoming a Companion of the Order in 1993, the year that she published Across the Bridge and was the recipient of a special tribute at the Harbourfront International Festival of Authors in Toronto. In 1996, The Selected Stories of Mavis Gallant was published to universal acclaim. Paris Stories, a selection edited by Michael Ondaatje, appeared in 2002, and was followed by the companion volume Montreal Stories, edited by Russell Banks, in 2004.
Gallant is a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She has received several honorary degrees from Canadian universities and remains a much-sought-after public speaker. In 2001 she became the first winner of the Matt Cohen Award, and in 2002 she won the Blue Metropolis International Literary Grand Prix and the Rea Award for the Short Story.
She continues to live in Paris.
“One of the great short story writers of our time.”
“The irrefutable master of the short story in English, Mavis Gallant has, among her colleagues, many admirers but no peer. She is the standout. She is the standard-bearer.
She is the standard.”
“The worlds that Gallant creates are so complete that, as readers, we can live inside them.”
“One of the best writers of our language, an artist who is above fad and fashion.”
“We carry these stories around with us for days after we finish reading them because of their profound human ambiguities.…These stories lodge in our minds and become part of our happiness, the happiness of knowing that perfection, wrought from an imperfect world, is possible.”
“One begins comparing her best moments to those of major figures in literary history. Names like Henry James, Checkhov and George Eliot dance across the mind. Gallant’s accomplishment is on an extraordinarily high level.”
“She has written many short stories. My calculation suggests that she has written in this form at least the equivalent of twenty novels.”