Mavis Gallant's name is intimately connected with the august imprimatur of the New Yorker. She has been published consistently in that magazine's pages for more than 40 years.
Her stories are finely honed, deeply psychological, precise and compact and examine the peculiar situations of characters who exist outside the expectations of their contexts: English-speaking Quebecois, foreigners in France, Canadians in Florida, artists who have failed to attain their potential. "The Collected Stories of Mavis Gallant" is a hefty doorstop of a volume. Arranged by the epoch of their content rather than by the chronological date of their publication, the pieces collectively form a kind of social history, a gallery of portraits that veer from impatient and passionate youth toward an increasingly mature, acquiescing perspective.