Green Water, Green Sky

Mavis Gallant


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Daunt Books
4 July 2024
ISBN: 9781914198922
224 pages

From the publisher

An elegant, melancholic novella about memory, family and the meaning of home.  With an introduction by Brandon Taylor

This is the tale of the fractured family life of American divorcée Bonnie McCarthy and her daughter Flor. Uprooted and unmoored, the pair lead an itinerant existence, glamorous yet dependent, with Venice, Canne and Paris as their backdrop. When Flor attempts to flee this untidy life and the oppressive rule of her eccentric mother, she instead succumbs to a gradual decline into insanity.

Green Water, Green Sky was Mavis Gallant’s debut and is a quietly dazzling example of her masterful shifts in narrative perspective and her visceral exploration of displacement and exile.

‘She is the standout. She is the standard-bearer.’ Fran Lebowitz

‘Her work is heartbreaking . . . unique and profound; I don’t think there will be another quite like her.’ Jhumpa Lahiri

‘Unblinkingly attentive and keen-eyed . . . Wise, dry, funny, and subtle.’ Hermione Lee

‘I know authors who admit that the one writer they do not read when they are completing a book is Gallant. Nothing could be more intimidating . . . Gallant’s craft and empathy are always ahead of us.’ Michael Ondaatje

‘She’s such a good writer about politics and history and money and economics and war, and she
does it so shrewdly and so effortlessly.’ Tessa Hadley

‘A marvellously clear-headed observer, and a rare phrase-make.’ Times Literary Supplement

‘Luminescent, subtle and lasting. Gallant’s chronicles of internal and external exile are a fitting tribute to a diasporic century.’ Guardian

‘Shrewd, wonderful . . . [Gallant] was always a truth teller, in her life and in her work.’ Paul Bailey

‘Brief, intense and technically dazzling.’ Lisa Allardice

‘Gallant’s work reminds you to think more deeply about the people you deal with . . . She reminds us of how fathomless we are, how there is always more to know.’ Peter Orner 

‘A subtle, disturbing, beautifully written novel.’ Saturday Review