TORONTO Feb 18 Mavis Gallant, a celebrated
Canadian-born fiction writer who spent most of her life and
career in Paris, died on Tuesday at her apartment in the French
capital, her publisher said.
"We are deeply saddened by Mavis Gallant's passing today,"
McClelland & Stewart publisher Doug Pepper said in a statement.
"Mavis was a stunning writer who transformed the short fiction
Born in Montreal, Quebec in 1922, Gallant worked for a time
as a journalist before moving to Paris in 1950 to pursue a
career as a fiction writer. She married musician John Gallant in
1942, but they divorced five years later.
A fluent French speaker, she nonetheless wrote fiction
exclusively in English.
Much like countrywoman Alice Munro, Gallant's preferred
style of fiction was the short story, and also like Munro, she
found early success publishing in the New Yorker magazine.
In all, she produced 10 collections of short stories, along
with two novels, a play, and several essays. Her 1981 collection
"Home Truths: Selected Canadian Stories" won the Governor
General's Literary Award for Fiction, which is one of Canada's
top literary prizes.
Known for her wit, story structure, and command of the
English language, Gallant nevertheless distrusted attempts to
analyze her work.
"If I thought about what I do, I think I'd stop writing,"
she told the Guardian newspaper in 2009.
"The first flash of fiction is like a curtain going up on
stage, and you wait to see what's happening. The characters
aren't speaking to me, exactly, but I get lines of dialogue."
Her last published work was "Going Ashore" in 2009, and
McClelland & Stewart plans to release a collection of her
journals next year.
(Reporting by Cameron French; Editing by James Dalgleish)