Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"Voices Lost in Snow" by Mavis Gallant

"She's a pretty darn good writer," says Margaret Atwood of Mavis Gallant, after reading "Voices Lost in Snow" aloud. Yep, she sure is.

I have a feeling that I'll never forget this story, which is said to be 90% autobiographical, and I know that I'll be seeking out the other Linnet Muir stories to read. What I found particularly interesting is the uniquely Canadian characteristics of the story. Beyond the obvious Canadian setting, there is something about the behavior of the characters, the tone of the story and the mood, that is so familiar to me, a Canadian. I sympathize with Linnet but also, although my childhood was completely different that hers, her story feels very familiar to me. While it is harsh, it is also comfortable to me--there's comfort in familiarity.

This story has also caused me to consider the differences between Canadian stories and American one, and to recognize that the longer I live in America, the more my voice and my perception changes, and that this will certainly impact my own work--it already has.

Boil some water and sit yourself down with some hot chocolate--just because Linnet didn't get any doesn't mean you shouldn't. Enjoy!

Hear it here: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/podcast/

Mavis Gallant 
Margaret Atwood 
Read it here in the archives, if you have a subscription: http://www.newyorker.com/archive/1976/04/05/1976_04_05_038_TNY_CARDS_000315151

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