Mavis Gallant is admired and beloved as one of the masters of the modern short story. Selected from early collections and the New Yorker, where many of the authors stories have appeared over the last fifty years, and with an introduction by Jhumpa Lahiri, The Cost of Livingreveals a writer coming into her own. The stories span the first twentyyears of a long career, from the poise and poignancy of her very firstpublished story, 'Madeleines Birthday (1951), to the masterlyexploration of the passage of time in the long story 'The BurgundyWeekend (1971) that appears here in book form for the first time.Gallants sensibility has always been cosmopolitan and thesestories take us from Quebec to postwar Europe, via New York and NewEngland, before settling, like their author, in Paris. Everywhere thebook reveals Gallants subtly penetrating psychological insight, witand unsentimental sympathy for the excluded and the exiled, not tomention her wonderfully wicked sense of humour.

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