Artist’s widows, from “Speck’s Idea” by Mavis Gallant

Mavis Gallant on artist’s widows, from her story “Speck’s Idea” found in the collected stories. (Sadly, this one-stop-shopping, with a wonderful preface by the author herself, is no longer in print, but NYRB has three volumes of spendor for you.)

Mavis Gallant is true greatness. Before you read one of this fall’s trend novels, read a few of her stories to calibrate your expectations. It may help you avoid some embarrassment down the line.


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Brick Magazine had a lovely issue with a focus on her, three or four issues back maybe: very nice. I don’t recognize the title of this story; I will have to take a look!


The Surrender is Veronica Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning how she embraced her true gender.


Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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