The Life of Henri Grippes
- Selected Stories by Mavis Gallant
Bloomsbury, 887 pp, £25.00, April 1997, ISBN 0 7475 3251 6
This enormous volume – beautifully designed, bound and typeset by its publishers – represents the merest sliver of Mavis Gallant’s lifelong achievement. Even discounting the two novels and the books of essays, what we have here can amount to little more than half the content of her nine published short-story collections. Gallant has made the selection herself, rejecting ‘straight humour and satire, which dates quickly ... stories that seemed to me not worth reprinting, stories I was tired of, and stories that bored me’. It sounds like a haphazard and subjective methodology, but the resulting sequence does have an awesome cohesiveness.