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The Pegnitz Junction

Overview

In these dazzling stories, Mavis Gallant immerses us in the lives of ordinary people swept up in the upheaval and displacement that followed in the wake of the Second World War. A bitter yet stubbornly pragmatic woman prepares for what promises to be another disastrous Christmas with her mother, her aunt, and her would-be-war-hero uncle. Engaged to another man, a woman travels to Paris with her older lover and his young son. A wife recollects her complicated relationship with the refugee woman who had a brief ...
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Overview

In these dazzling stories, Mavis Gallant immerses us in the lives of ordinary people swept up in the upheaval and displacement that followed in the wake of the Second World War. A bitter yet stubbornly pragmatic woman prepares for what promises to be another disastrous Christmas with her mother, her aunt, and her would-be-war-hero uncle. Engaged to another man, a woman travels to Paris with her older lover and his young son. A wife recollects her complicated relationship with the refugee woman who had a brief affair with her husband. Small mercies form the backbone of a friendship between an actress and a police commissioner. A career soldier, now discharged and stranded in France, makes his first adjustments to life as a civilian. In elegant, diamond-sharp prose, Gallant distills the vanities, absurdities, and contradictions that lie at the heart of human behavior and fashions stories of rare power and insight.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
With extraordinary art, Gallant has recreated and represented worlds in which we are all involved; worlds in which politics and history, memory and confusion, wit and compassion meet.…”
Quill & Quire

“We come away from [her stories] both thoughtful and enriched, reflecting on the borderlines that divide folly from dishonesty and evil.”
Globe and Mail

“A master of the modern short story.”
Maclean’s

“She stands among the best writers of the century.…If Gallant writes about life’s tragedies, the ravages and aftermaths of wars, of what they do to human lives, she is also full of pleasures, of wonderful comforts, of laughter, of a wonderful capacity to enjoy, to savour, to rejoice in light.”
Canadian Forum

“Compassionate in a tough-minded, unsentimental way, Gallant embraces humanity in all its foibles, flaws and foolishness.”
Kitchener- Waterloo Record

“Gallant has chronicled displaced lives with pulse-stopping mastery and has leavened her often painful message with reminders of the strength of human resilience.…Gallant is a master storyteller.”
London Free Press

“Mavis Gallant writes as the Dutch used to paint, filling each of her canvases, whether large or small, out to the edges with closely observed figures; some of them are amusing and others saddening, and all are bathed in an uncanny light that has nothing to do with the sun or moon but finds its source in an incandescent mind.…She leads us into a world where everything is ablaze and yet cool to the touch – a world of wit and pity mingled, where whatever the writer’s eye falls on is made to yield a bittersweet, nourishing fruit.”
–Brendan Gill

“Mavis Gallant is a master stylist with breathtaking powers of observation.…Gallant’s stories are densely coloured worlds, spare and thorough.…”
–Montreal Gazette

“The satisfaction that comes from reading and re-reading Gallant’s work lies in the lucid illuminations that arise from her compassionate portrayal of that inescapable junction where the political and the personal are indivisible.”
Canadian Forum

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780915308606
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1988
  • Series: Short Fiction Series
  • Pages: 180
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.47 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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