From The Fifteenth District

Publisher: Emblem Editions
Set in Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War, the nine stories in this glittering collection reflect on the foibles and dilemmas of human relationships. An English family goes to the south of France for the sake of the father’s health, and to get away from an England of rationing and poverty. A displaced person turned French soldier in Algeria now makes a living as an actor in Paris. A group of selfish English expatriates on the Italian Riviera are incredulous that Mussolini and the Germans may affect their lives. A great writer’s quiet widow blossoms in widowhood, to the surprise and alarm of her children, who send a ten-year-old grandson to Switzerland to keep her company one Christmas. Full of wry humour and penetrating insights, this is Mavis Gallant at her most unforgettable.


“Mavis Gallant writes some of the most superbly crafted and perceptive stories of our time.”
Globe and Mail

“Gallant’s fiction is so finely observed and so forbearing in the face of the shortcomings we ascribe to human nature that the reader might easily come away with the impression that these stories are narrated by God.”

“Superb…From the Fifteenth District brings us Mavis Gallant at the height of her powers.”
Toronto Star

“I’m certain that there isn’t a finer living writer of fiction in the English language.
There couldn’t be.”
Books in Canada

“One of Canada’s best short-story writers.”
New Brunswick Reader

“Gallant achieves the extraordinarily difficult task of capturing a world and a way of thinking in these little masterpieces.…She is something of a magician: one can watch closely, but in the end her stories defy our rational senses, and the result is a type of literary magic.”
Edmonton Journal

“When so many others are forgotten, Gallant will be there.”
Globe and Mail

“Reading any one of Mavis Gallant’s stories is like viewing the entire universe through an electron microscope; in her hands fiction seems infinitely flexible and capacious. And all the complexity of insight, the breadth of understanding, the density of thought and intensity of feeling are delivered with thrilling charm, a thrilling lightness of touch.”
–Deborah Eisenberg

“One of the best that ever came out of this country.”
–Morley Callaghan