Mavis Gallant, Legendary Short Story Writer from Canada, Passed Away at 91

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | February 19, 2014 4:13 PM EST

Legendary short story writer from Canada, Mavis Gallant, passed away at the age of 91 on Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014. She was considered one among the most accomplished literary figures of the country. She spent the most part of her lifetime in Paris. Some of the finest collections of Ms Gallant are Going Ashore (2009), Home Truths (1981) and Montreal Stories (2004).

Ms Gallant received several award during her lifetime. She was declared an officer of the Order of Canada in 1981. Later, she was promoted to Companion of the Order in 1993. She received an honorary LL.D. from the Queen's University in 1991. She was the first English-language writer to receive the Prix Athanase-David from the Quebec government.

Several stories written by Ms Gallant were published in The New Yorker. In fact, the magazine recognised her talent during the early days of her career much before she was appreciated in her native country. Her death made her friends as well as fans express their grief online. Margaret Atwood, another Canadian writing legend, called her a "wonderful" and "scrappy" person who lived a "fascinating life."

Ms Gallant started writing early in her life. She was initially engaged in writing poems. Later, she started writing short stories which she excelled in. Her initial works got published in her native country. CBC News reported that her initial career flourished in Canadian magazines like Northern Review, the Standard Magazine and Preview.

It was only in 1950 when she decided to leave her country and shift her base in Europe. She moved around several places before deciding to get settled in Paris. She chose a small apartment on the River Gauche to live her entire life until she passed away.

In one of the interviews for the Paris Review, she mentioned that she was supposed to "live on" writing if she called herself a writer. Otherwise, she should destroy "every trace" of being a writer and choose something else to live on.

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