Mavis Gallant has died at age 91 in Paris. a short story writer who was born in Canada, she lived her adult life in Paris. she wrote about expats living in Europe and themes of alienation/loneliness emerged. the stories of people living in-between cultures and their often shabby personal lives. i’ve read some of her stories in The New Yorker over the years, and find them dense, detailed, with a focus on the intellectual versus the emotional.
there are things that come to mind about Mavis, namely that she arranged her life so she could do as she pleased which was write. married young, with no children, she divorced and left behind female role expectations. there’s part of me that admires this single mindedness, and another part that feels uncomfortable. i came to writing later in life, after the birth of my second child, and i’ve written around my obligations. in many ways, i prefer the busyness of life and snatching a few minutes of time to write something down. i wouldn’t rearrange my personal life differently but there’s a part of me that admires this aspect of her personality. when i have this thought, i wonder what it means, what my unconscious is saying.
have you ever daydreamed about running away?