Katherine Mansfield and Mavis Gallant

  • Gunn, K. (Interviewee)
  • Laurence Scott (Interviewee)
  • Claire Harman (Presenter)
  • Shahidha Bari (Presenter)

Activity: Other activity typesPublic engagement and outreach - media article or participation


Insecurity, sexuality and bliss are amongst the topics explored in the short stories of Katherine Mansfield (14 October 1888 – 9 January 1923). Having left a New Zealand suburb she came to England aged 19 and made friends with the Bloomsbury set, meeting writers like Virginia Woolf and DH Lawrence. A new biography by Claire Harman uses ten stories to tell the story of Mansfield's life and writing. One of her admirers was the Canadian author Mavis Gallant (11 August 1922 – 18 February 2014) who spent much of her writing life in France. Laurence Scott and Kirsty Gunn join Claire Harman and Shahidha Bari to explore what these authors have to tell us about the art of short story writing.

Claire Harman's biography is called All Sorts of Lives: Katherine Mansfield and the art of risking everything.

Kirsty Gunn is the author of My Katherine Mansfield Project, a long essay. Her own writing includes a collection of stories Infidelities and her latest novel Caroline's Bikini.

Laurence Scott is the author of Picnic, Comma, Lightning.

Producer: Ruth Watts
Period6 Jan 2023
Held atBBC Radio 3, United Kingdom