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McClelland & Stewart to publish Mavis Gallant’s private journals

(photo: Alison Harris)

Thousands of mostly handwritten pages from Mavis Gallant’s personal journals will be published by McClelland & Stewart in Canada and Alfred A. Knopf in the U.S., The Globe and Mail reports.

Gallant, who turns 90 in August, left Canada for Paris in 1950 and is known internationally for her mastery of the short-story form. Among her awards and honours, she received the 1981 Governor General’s Literary Award for Home Truths and was appointed Companion to the Order of Canada in 1993.

Acquired by Doug Pepper, publisher of Signal/M&S, and Knopf senior editor Victoria Wilson, the multi-volume journal will be edited by U.S. literary agent Steven Barclay and Frances Kiernan, a biographer and former editor at The New Yorker, which over the years has published more than 100 of Gallant’s stories.

From The Globe and Mail:

It’s an enormous honour for me [to co-edit the journals], Barclay, a friend of Gallant for 25 years, said in a brief interview from Paris. There is no writer I admire more. At the same time, it is a huge job to edit them, dealing with an original document and footnotes and research on people. Another concern is what stays and what may be excised because, he said, these are diaries that were written for her; they were not like the John Cheever journals, which were written with an audience in mind. These are really, really quite personal, full of many, many details.

No date is set for publication, but The New Yorker will run an excerpt in an issue this summer.