Mavis Gallant on Writing

“Samuel Beckett, answering a hopeless question form a Paris newspaper – “Why do you write?” – said it was all he was good for: “Bon qu’à ça.”

[…] I have been writing or just thinking about things to write since I was a child. I invented rhymes and stories when I could not get to sleep and in the morning when I was told it was too early to get up, and I uttered dialogue for a large colony of paper dolls. Once, I was astonished to hear my mother say, “Oh, she talks to herself all the time.” I had not realized that that kind of speech could be overheard, and, of course, I was not talking but supplying a voice. If I pin it down as an adult calling, I have lived in writing, like a spoonful of water in a river, for more than forty-five years.”


Mavis Gallant – Preface to The Selected Stories of Mavis Gallant