My first post for Paris in July 2016 was on a novel by the great Iréne Nemirovsky. Neither Gallant or Iréne Nemirosky were born in France but both found their true home there. One came as a child with her parents to escape anti-Semticism in the Ukraine, one as a young adult came alone to Paris, fell in love with the city and lived there the remaining fifty two years of her life.
"The Events in May- A Paris Note Book" published in The New Yorker, May 14, 1968
In mid-May 1968 the Sorbonne and other major French universities announced a large increase in the student fees. Led by the French Communist Party, students began a series of increasingly disruptive demonstrations throughout the city. The issue became a matter of social class when the French national guard, with a largely working class membership, was called to subdue the mostly upperclass college students. Gallant does a wonderful job bringing this episode in Paris to life.
"The Hunter's Waking Thoughts" - a short story, first published in The New Yorker, September 29, 1962
"The Hunter's Waking Thoughts" is a brief fiction set on a country estate where Parisians come to hunt. The owner periodically rents out hunting rights to earn extra income. Our central character was invited to the hunt by a married woman with whom he is madly in love with. He thought she was as inviting him so they could have sex. She forgot to inform him that her husband was coming also. Like all of her work I have read, this is an elegant perceptive work of art.
I wish to note that both of these stories are included in a very interesting forthcoming anthology of work centering on the 1960s first published in The New Yorker. I was kindly given a review copy.
For fans of Marvis Gallant, a 1000 page collection of her short stories will be available as a Kindle edition August 14.