“Riveting . . . rollicking . . . elegantly captures a changing France reckoning with the cultural revolutions of the mid-20th century.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Enthralling essays on the expatriate experience in Paris and shrewd literary criticism by one of the twentieth century’s finest writers. Mavis Gallant is revered as one of the great short story writers of her generation, but she was also an astute observer and formidable reporter. This selection of Gallant’s essays and reviews written between 1968 and 1985 begins with her impressions of the Parisian student uprising in May 1968. Originally published in The New Yorker, “The Events in May” inspired Wes Anderson’s film The French Dispatch and Gallant herself served as inspiration for the journalist portrayed by Frances McDormand.
Paris Notebooks presents a whole range of subjects portraying French society, ranging from architecture and literature to the gripping story of Gabrielle Russier, a young French schoolteacher driven to imprisonment, madness, and suicide as the result of an affair with one of her students. Also included are Gallant’s astute reviews of books by major figures such as Vladimir Nabokov, Simone de Beauvoir, Colette, and Günter Grass. No matter what form she’s working in, Mavis Gallant’s flawless prose is always full of wit and acuity.
This edition includes a new foreword by acclaimed literary biographer Hermione Lee.
Paris Notebooks is part of Godine’s Nonpareil series: celebrating the joy of discover with books bound to be classics. See here for a complete list of Nonpareils.