Prose-MavisGallant-800Francine Prose at The New Yorker:

I feel a kind of messianic zeal, which I share with many writers and readers, to make sure that Gallant’s work continues to be read, admired—and loved. One can speculate about the possible reasons why she is not more universally known. Though her work appeared regularly and for decades (from the nineteen-fifties until the mid-nineteen-nineties) in The New Yorker, where it attracted a loyal and enthusiastic readership, Gallant, who died in 2014, never became quite as popular, as widely recognized, or as frequently celebrated as any number of writers who published as regularly in the magazine during roughly the same period of time.

Perhaps the simplest explanation is that she was a Canadian short-story writer, born in Montreal, in 1922, living in Paris, where she worked initially as a journalist, writing in English, and publishing in the United States. It was hard for any country to claim her, to make her a public figure (which she would have resisted) or for readers to classify her as one thing or another. Things (including books) are always easier to describe when they are like something else, and it was Gallant’s great strength and less-than-great public-relations problem that her work is so unlike anyone else’s. What one extracts from what (little) Gallant has said about her life is the central fact of her wanting to do what she wanted, which was to write.

more here.