Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Paris Stories” as Want to Read:
Paris Stories
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Paris Stories

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  1,012 Ratings  ·  128 Reviews
Internationally celebrated, award-winning author Mavis Gallant is a contemporary legend: an undisputed master of the short story whose peerless prose captures the range of human experience while evoking time and place with unequalled skill. This new selection of Gallant’s stories, edited by novelist and poet Michael Ondaatje, gathers the best of her many stories set in Par ...more
Paperback, 376 pages
Published November 26th 2002 by McClelland & Stewart (first published 1995)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Paris Stories, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Paris Stories

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Chris
Magnificent. I read this collection of short stories over the course of several months in the manner suggested by the author herself: "Stories are not chapters of novels. They should not be read one after the another, as if they were meant to follow along. Read one. Shut the book. Read something else. Come back later. Stories can wait."

It turned out to be advice worth taking. Rather than blast through the book at once, in a week or so, I was able to absorb each short story on its own. I frequent
...more
Liz
Nov 24, 2009 Liz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gallant is one of the few writers, like Proust and Nabokov, whom I approach with utter delight and dread. Delight because her writing is so beautifully crafted and each phrase a treat; dread because as a writer reading her is so intimidating one feels that, not only could one never hope to write a story as good as hers, but even a sentence. Her images are precise and perfect in a way that renders them all familiar and identifiable, yet unexpected and fresh. Sentences such as, "All the fat men of ...more
fatma
Nov 06, 2015 fatma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
İlk öykünün bitişi Great Gatsby'ninkinden sonra okuduğum en etkileyici son. Okuyucunun öykü karakterleriyle özdeşleşme hissetmesi için en ufak bir çaba bile göstermeyen bir yazar Gallant. Ama öyküler, kişiler uzun zaman sonra bile aklınızda kalıyor, hatta aklınıza düşüyor. Being Malkovich filmi gibi, sanki karakterlerin içine girip, oradan dünyaya bakmışsınız gibi. Çok iyi bir yazar, hayranıyım.
Michael
Jun 02, 2009 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was listed at the back of Francine Prose's How to Read Like a Writer. Years ago I added the first page or two of suggested reading from Prose's list to my Amazon Wishlist. Last Christmas someone gave me Gallant's Paris Stories and I've only now read all the stories in the collection. I'm not certain I've read more beautiful, direct declaritive sentences. Gallant's prose is so clean it's perfect. Her ability to slip from one character's thoughts to another's, sometimes within the same s ...more
Charlotte
Feb 15, 2008 Charlotte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the IRS, expats, slow readers
It took me forever to finish this book, and I loved it so much. The stories aren't dense, exactly, but they do completely create worlds that you have to put it down for awhile after each one to really think about what just happened. Someone take me to Paris. Please? I think my favorite story was actually "Grippes and Poche" about a self-centered, aging writer and a French tax bureaucrat. I know, it was a surprise to me, too. Also loved "The Remission".
AC
Mar 13, 2016 AC rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, france

Balthus and his daughter, Harumi Klossowska

Of the stories in this collection that I read and enjoyed -- I do not read everything; I love to skip and skim; I am not a "completist" -- which is, at the very least, a luxury of the young -- these were the best:

Ice Wagon Going Down the Street
Latehomecomers (... should be all one word)
The Moslem Wife (...which was my favorite)
Gabriel Baum (1935 -)
Remission (...another magnificent story)
Scarves, Beads, Sandals (...see the picture above... ;-)

At her best
...more
Chris
Crossposted at Booklikes

I almost didn’t buy this book.

But I’m glad I did.

I don’t think I have read Gallant before picking up this book, unless it was in college during the Canadian Literature course I took. But wow.



Paris Stories is somewhat of a misnomer as half the stories don’t take place in Paris. The overarching theme of these stories seems to be that what people see and what actually is – in terms of relationships, reality, or anything else. They are about creative beings.



Many of the st
...more
Duygu Uzunoğlu
Mar 28, 2016 Duygu Uzunoğlu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Kanadalı meslektaşı Alice Munro kadar geniş bir okuyucu kitlesi tarafından okunmayı hak eden, muhteşem bir yazar. Kaba saba insanları Gallant kadar iyi tasvir edebilen yoktur, en kötü insan numunelerini alır ve yüksek cazibe ve sempati nesnelerine dönüştürür.”
–Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker
Ayşenur Mutluel
Mavis Gallant öykülerin birer romanı bölümü olmadığını bu yüzden bir öykü okuduktan sonra kapatıp bırakmamızı söylemiş. Çünkü öyküler bizi orada bekliyor olur.
Eğer bu kitabı alma gibi bir hevesiniz varsa kesinlikle yazarın söylediği gibi yapmalısınız. Ben kendime yenik düşüp bir kaç gece boyunca 12'den 2'e kadar durmadan bu kitabı okudum. Bir öyküyü bitirip daha ne olduğunu anlamadan diğer bir öyküye geçtim. Birini okurken acaba bir önceki öyküde ne olmuştu, neden öyle bitti ya da şöyle olsaydı
...more
Margaret
Let's face it, everyone needs some Mavis Gallant in their lives.

Expats in Europe, post-war malaise, stories of those left out and discontent with society, all with a fantastic ex-pat Canadian flair. Also, supremely well constructed short stories on par with the best.

Michael
Feb 26, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To begin at the end, Mavis Gallant wrote an Afterword to this volume of short stories selected and introduced by Michael Ondaatje, which is, in effect, an autobiography of her life as a writer from her childhood in Canada through her decisive move to her expatriate home in Paris. I begin with the Afterword because it sheds light on the writer's mind, the stories, and the craft of writing; because it might better be read as a Foreword; but most of all because it is as well written as the stories ...more
Rachel
Feb 27, 2013 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"his real life a secret so splendid he could share it with no one except himself." (p.11)

"They are white-hot Protestants, and they live with a load of work and debt and obligation." (p.12)

"If she had been foreign, ill-favored though she was, he might have flirted a little, just to show that he was friendly; but their being Canadian, and suddenly left together, was a sexual damper." (p.13)

"Angels are created, not born. Nowhere in any written testimony will you find a scrap of proof that angels ar
...more
Trina
May 23, 2012 Trina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gallant is a masterful storyteller -- she reminds me a bit of Alice Munro, although for me the settings are more interesting: Paris and elsewhere in France, mostly. There is a kind of everyday melancholy in these stories -- the characters' self-awareness inevitably leads to sadness and disappointment, but it is also recognized as part of the fullness of life --"sadder but wiser"?. Because of this, many of the characters choose various self-delusions, which instead of making them seem shallow, I ...more
Banushka
Gallant'ın öyküleri dinlene dinlene okunması gerekenlerden. Günümüzdeki öykü tanımından da uzak diyebilirim, bazıları niceliği ve niteliğiyle adeta bir novella. Detaylar, incelikler, 2. dünya savaşı sonrası Fransa, farklı insan hikâyeleri ve çok iyi bir çeviri sizi bekliyor.
Ken
Mar 22, 2008 Ken rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A temporary review: this is still one of my favorite short story collections of all time (ranking up there with my love for Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard To Find" and Yukio Mishima's "Death in Midsummer." A more detailed review to come...
Banushka
Apr 04, 2017 Banushka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gallant'ın öyküleri dinlene dinlene okunması gerekenlerden. Günümüzdeki öykü tanımından da uzak diyebilirim, bazıları niceliği ve niteliğiyle adeta bir novella. Detaylar, incelikler, 2. dünya savaşı sonrası Fransa, farklı insan hikâyeleri ve çok iyi bir çeviri sizi bekliyor.
agos'a yazdığım yazıyı ekledim http://tembelveyazar.blogspot.com.tr/...
Mark
Dec 12, 2011 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read a few of the short stories in here before I got derailed. Really, really love this writer.

I picked this up when I saw that Michael Ondaatje, one of my favorite authors, writes the introduction to this collection and I noticed that Russell Banks, another one of my favorite authors, wrote the intro to her other collection of Canadian stories. She also wrote observations about the student protests of '68 in Paris that I'm meaning to read.

A fantastic short story writer who opens her chara
...more
Claude Forthomme
Apr 10, 2014 Claude Forthomme rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From a celebrated writer such as Mavis Gallant, I expected more. It was certainly brilliantly written and observed but too often the stories left one with a feeling of incompleteness. Of course, that is the Gallant style: suggest rather than state, swerve rather than go in a straight line. Also, the recurrent theme - nomads trying to find their place in the world and failing to do so - is necessarily melancholy. Thus many of those stories leave one with a desire to see some sort of conclusion th ...more
Eileen
Jan 14, 2009 Eileen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, nyrb
These stories were good, but at about the midpoint my pace slowed down pretty dramatically. In part I blame the subway. I think these just require you to be On; the subway doesn't let that happen for prolonged periods. I would get halfway through a story and have to reread the whole thing the next time I picked up the book. In part I wonder if I just don't like short stories. I certainly like novels. It's a strange and interesting question considering my creative writing has been mostly poetry. ...more
Maria Paiz
In her afterword (which by the way is so long, it's almost a short story in itself), Mavis Gallant says, in her last paragraph: "Stories are not chapters of novels. They should not be read one after the other, as if they were meant to follow along. Read one. Shut the book. Read something else. Come back later. Stories can wait". Well... I wish she had mentioned that at THE BEGINNING of the book and not the end! In fact, reading one story after the other was tiresome. So much in fact, I had dropp ...more
K.M. Soehnlein
Jul 08, 2010 K.M. Soehnlein rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This year I rediscovered Mavis Gallant's sharp, smart short stories. This collection brings together just a few of the dozens and dozens of stories she has published over a nearly 60 year career. I like in particular "The Ice Wagon Going Down the Street," which has an epic quality, covering years of a couple's life together in flashes of scenes and bits of wisdom.

The Afterword written by the author is a version of the introduction she wrote to her much thicker Collected Stories. She advises here
...more
Bettie☯
Feb 18, 2014 Bettie☯ marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
RIP
Jane Gregg
Jan 24, 2016 Jane Gregg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know you're in the presence of greatness with these incredible stories. Flawless writing from a genius.
Victor Carson
I obtained a copy of Paris Stories on the recommendation of a friend, who suggested that I compare the short stories of Canadian writer Alice Munro to those of another Canadian-born writer, Mavis Gallant. I have read many of Alice Munro’s short story collections and was pleased when she won the Nobel Prize for Literature this year. I was skeptical that I would find another short story writer to equal Alice Munro. After reading all but the last 50+ pages of Paris Stories, I stand by my original o ...more
Patty
Jun 21, 2017 Patty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was hard to rate this collection of stories since, according to the author, and I believe she is correct, I was not supposed to read them one after another, but rather read something else in between. That would have been difficult since I was reading an (excellent) audiobook checked out from the library and I needed to finish it within a limited time.

I probably should read some of the stories again another time. Although they are not that complicated, there is a lot to digest in each one. Wha
...more
Tracey
Mar 11, 2017 Tracey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're about to enter post-war Paris, you can't expect stories full of light. And some of the Paris Stories make you feel as though you've been sitting in a dark alley...in the rain...without shoes...against hard, cold stone wall. But the writing and characterizations are wonderful.
Martin
Sep 02, 2013 Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been (slowly) reading this collection of Mavis Gallant short stories for something like two years now. I'm justified in my pace because in her afterward she writes that stories are not meant to be read like chapters of a novel: "Read one. Shut the book. Read something else. Come back later. Stories can wait."

Thus armed with this unassailable authorial excuse I've been reading giant novels in between her petite stories, and only now have I finally made my way through this collection. I don
...more
Joeey
Oct 01, 2016 Joeey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Blessedly clever. Acute and astute observation throughout. Very very good indeed.
Lauren
May 23, 2009 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
In this month of celebrating the short story (#ShortStoryMonth), there must be mention of one of my favorite collections, Mavis Gallant’s Paris Stories. Published in 2002, the book contains one of my favorite stories, "Mlle. Dias de Corta." It concerns Mademoiselle, the boarder of a financially strapped Parisian widow, a distant yet fascinating immigrant actress who withholds secrets. At the outset, her enigmatic behavior provokes bias on the part of her narrow-minded landlady, but she soon beco ...more
sky
Feb 21, 2014 sky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's tough. I wanted to love this set of stories, but it fell short of truly intriguing me.

Mavis Gallant seems to be a vastly under-appreciated short story writer. When she recently passed some media, articles and obits were able to give her some posthumous recognition.

Learning that she was previously a reporter does not surprise me. Most of her stories felt like reportage. Great settings, solid prose and writing and you can see the potential. But the other aspects simply fell flat. I think many
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
NYRB Classics: Paris Stories, by Mavis Gallant 2 10 Oct 29, 2013 04:08PM  
  • The Wonders Of The Invisible World
  • The Stories (So Far)
  • Believers: A novella and stories
  • Searches and Seizures
  • Stories in an Almost Classical Mode
  • Vintage Baldwin
  • Collected Stories and Later Writings
  • Sleepwalker in a Fog
  • The Collected Stories
  • Doting
  • Goodbye, Columbus and Five Short Stories / Letting Go
  • Escapes
  • The New York Stories
  • Memoirs of Montparnasse
  • I Sailed with Magellan
  • A Life in Letters
  • Story of a Life
  • The Collected Stories of Isaac Babel
99482
Canadian journalist and fiction writer. In her twenties, Gallant worked as a reporter for the Montreal Standard. She left journalism in 1950 to pursue fiction writing. To that end, always needing autonomy and privacy, she moved to France.

In 1981, Gallant was honoured by her native country and made an Officer of the Order of Canada for her contribution to literature. That same year she also receive
...more
More about Mavis Gallant...

Share This Book



No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Stories are not chapters of novels. They should not be read one after another, as if they were meant to follow along. Read one. Shut the book. Read something else. Come back later. Stories can wait.” 9 likes
“All immigration is based on misapprehension.” 3 likes
More quotes…