Welcome to our site featuring Mavis Gallant’s 1940s journalism from the Montreal Standard.
If you have never heard of Gallant, here is the oft-told story. She died in 2014 at the age of 91 after a long career as specialist of the short-story genre. Although celebrated by writers like Jumpha Lahiri and Michael Ondaatje, she remained far more obscure than fellow Canadian short-story writer Alice Munro. With stories often international in theme, concerned with the lives and exiles of displaced people, prisoners of war, and expatriates, she never gained wide recognition as a Canadian writer. In French Canada she remained virtually unknown, even though she was one of the few English Canadian authors to have won the government of Quebec literary prize, the prix Athanase-David.
Our aim is to change this script and generate new interest in her writing today, specifically her early journalism when she authored over 200 feature news stories for the Montreal Standard, testing out her writing chops.
Featured here are 9 of her news articles, including our discovery of her interview with French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre in 1946. As far as we know, these news stories have not seen the light of day since they were first published back in the 1940s.
In these articles, you will find an eclectic mix of stories about war brides, new immigrants, female prisoners, not-so eligible bachelors, French-Canadian ski-jumping writers, and the famous Dionne quintuplets.
You can also read our commentary on the best of these articles. Ours is not an edition of Gallant’s journalism, but rather a multimedia annotated album featuring select articles, her recollections about them, and our discoveries and ideas about their relevance to contemporary topics and her fiction. Sometimes we offer these musings via podcast.
We bring new research, fresh commentary, and an innovative approach to this album of Gallant’s journalism, and we hope it will be enjoyed by professors, teachers, students, writers, and Gallant fans alike!
And finally, you might be wondering who we are. We are the professor and students of English 392, a world literature course called “Mavis Gallant in Paris,” offered by the English Department at Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University in Spring 2017. Visit our Project Brainstorming page to see us at work!
To dive right into the articles, go directly to Feature Articles from the 1940s.
You can also explore the Related Projects connected with our larger study of Gallant’s writing.
Colette Colligan, Luna Nuhic, Anouska Kirby, Jesse Gotfrit, Emilie McDonald, Caitlan Mustvedt, Raphael John Diangkinay, Vicky Chio, Laura Wong, Jasmin Dhillon, Anna Ren, Simren Litt, Shanel Nand, Moe Marjani
Special Guest Contributor