From the Fifteenth District

From the Fifteenth District

A Novella and Eight Short Stories

Book - 1979
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Set in Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War, the nine stories in this glittering collection reflect on the foibles and dilemmas of human relationships. An English family goes to the south of France for the sake of the father's health, and to get away from an England of rationing and poverty. A displaced person turned French soldier in Algeria now makes a living as an actor in Paris. A group of selfish English expatriates on the Italian Riviera are incredulous that Mussolini and the Germans may affect their lives. A great writer's quiet widow blossoms in widowhood, to the surprise and alarm of her children, who send a ten-year-old grandson to Switzerland to keep her company one Christmas. Full of wry humour and penetrating insights, this is Mavis Gallant at her most unforgettable.
Publisher: New York : Random House, c1979
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780771032936
0771032935
9780394507194
0394507193
Branch Call Number: FIC SS
c823 G163fr
Characteristics: 243 p. ; 22 cm

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Sep 30, 2017

An awesome set of stories of an historical era that seems to be getting overlooked. Several of the stories have already been collected in other collections (why is there so much overlap with Gallant's publications?), but rereading a story can allow one to see it deeper or from different angles, at any rate better, giving one a richer understanding and appreciation of them. I noticed that she the only female writer who can write male characters (male writers have been able to write great female characters: Flaubert with Madame Bovary, Henry James with Portrait of a Lady, Tolstoy with Anna Karenina, to give a few examples; but the reverse is extremely rare. In this set I liked the title story, "The Four Seasons", "Baum, G...", "Potter" and "Irina" more than the others.

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