“Often, her fiction drew its energy from contradictory qualities: her stories were minutely observed but also suspenseful, matter-of-fact but also fanciful, reportorial but also imaginative. They were broad-minded, and so felt real…it feels as concrete as anything you might read in the newspaper or see with your own eyes. Gallant had a rare gift: a solid imagination.” —The New Yorker
"Gallant has, over a long career, deftly documented women on the boundaries between childhood and adulthood, between their native home and their adopted home. As such, it's fitting that the stories in The Cost of Living are mostly strays and tales left out of the 1996 volume The Collected Stories of Mavis Gallant, including her first-ever published piece, 'Madeline's Birthday' from 1951. It's about time they've been brought in from the cold and seated snugly on your bedroom nightstand." --Jessa Crispin, NPR's "Books We Like"
“Mavis Gallant’s insights into her characters are achieved with breathtaking economy and rightness of detail. She is a terrifyingly good writer.”—Margaret Atwood
“[Mavis Gallant’s] talent, exercised for many years in Parisian exile, is as versatile and witty as it is somber and empathetic.”—John Updike
“Gallant’s stories relentlessly ask a few unanswerable and essential questions about our bewildering human condition. We come away from her stories with a keener knowledge of ourselves.”—Alberto Manguel
"One of the finest practitioners of the short story in the English language." --The New York Times
"One of the great story writers of our time." --Michael Ondaatje
"The irrefutable master of the short story in English. She is the standout. She is the standard-bearer." --Fran Lebowitz