‘Rose’ by Mavis Gallant

Rose by Mavis Gallant, 1960

The magic trick:

Making the ambiguity of a Christmas memory the story’s main theme

The story shows its hand in the first sentence: Childhood recollected is often hallucination. The rest of the text goes on to demonstrate this point. The childhood recollection in question is a girl’s fuzzy memory of a mysterious family member. Did she meet her? Did she imagine it? I don’t know. Childhood is hallucination. And that’s quite a trick on Gallant’s part.

The selection:

On the journey home, Germaine and I do not discuss Rose. I suspect Germaine of being an accomplice. She wound the gramophone. But I tell my parents: I say that we saw Rose, that there were biscuits, and a tree.”

“Oh, she wouldn’t.”

But they exchange a look, which I catch. They say I am making it up. “We shall ask Grandmother,” they warn.

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s