Canadian short story author Malvis Gallant has passed away at the age of 91. Doug Pepper, publisher of Signal/McClelland & Stewart, says in a statement that the famed author passed away on Tuesday, February 18 in her apartment in Paris.
"Without exaggeration she was one of the finest writers Canada has ever known. Witty, brave, honest, fiercely independent, Mavis was a stunning writer who transformed the short-fiction form. She was also a woman ahead of her time, blazing a trail of independence that took courage and determination that inspired legions of other authors who count her influence as seminal to their own careers," the statement reads, as quoted by CBC News.
Nobel laureate Alice Munro is one of many people who mourned the death. "Mavis Gallant was a marvelous short story writer and a constant hopeful influence on my life," she told The Canadian Press in a phone conversation. "I knew about her work and the fact that she was a Canadian and she wrote mainly short stories, which you were not really encouraged to do as your main writing... So she was important to me in that way."
Mavis Leslie Young was born in Montreal, Quebec in 1922 to an American mother and a British father. She married musician John Gallant in 1942, but they separated 5 years later. The writer left for Europe in 1950 and later settled in Paris.
Throughout her career, Gallant penned 10 collections of short stories, two novels entitled "Green Water, Green Sky" (1959) and "A Fairly Good Time" (1970), a play and some essays. Some of her popular works include "Montreal Stories", "Going Ashore" and 1981's "Home Truths".