Across the Bridge

Across the Bridge

Book - 1997
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A new collection of stories by Mavis Gallant is always a major publishing event. For this is the writer who-like Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro-has made Canadian short stories a presence on the world literary scene, and on our bestseller lists.

In Across the Bridge four of the eleven stories are connected, following the fortunes of the Carette family in Montreal. In "1933" their widowed mother teaches Berthe and Marie to deny that she was a seamstress and to say instead that she was "clever with her hands." In "The Chosen Husband" the luckless suitor Louis has to undergo the front-parlour scrutiny of Marie's mother and sister: "But then Louis began to cough and had to cover his mouth. He was in trouble with a caramel. The Carettes looked away, so that he could strangle unobserved. 'How dark it is,' said Berthe, to let him think he could not be seen."

We then follow their marriage, the birth of Raymond, and Raymond's flight from his mother and aunt to his eventual role as a motel manager in Florida. "'The place was full of Canadians,' he said. 'They stole like raccoons...'"

With the exception of "The Fenton Child," an eerie story set in postwar Montreal, the other stories take place in the Paris Mavis Gallant knows so well. "Across the Bridge," the title story, begins with the narrator's mother throwing her reluctant daughter's wedding invitations into the Seine. "I watched the envelopes fall in a slow shower and land on the dark water and float apart. Strangers leaned on the parapet and stared, too, but nobody spoke."

This is a superb collection of stories by a writer at the top of her form.

From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, 1997.
ISBN: 9780771034596
Branch Call Number: Galla
Characteristics: 211 pages ; 18 cm.
Additional Contributors: Davies, Robertson 1913-1995,- Author


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Dec 23, 2019

All but one of the stories in this set were deft, intelligent, suggestive, and few were larger (one almost mythic in its ambitions); the worst story was the last: I became so uninterested in it that, even after reading most of it, I chose not to finish reading it. The best story, one I re-read a few times, was "Kingdom Come".
On page 141 there is a frightening and presumably accurate description of dementia that is worth quoting: "...poised on the moment between dark and light, when the last dream of dawn is shredding rapidly and awareness of morning has barely caught hold. She lives in that split second all day long."

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at VPL

To Top