Introduction & Overview of Souvenir

This Study Guide consists of approximately 44 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Souvenir.
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Souvenir Summary & Study Guide Description

Souvenir Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Bibliography on Souvenir by Jayne Anne Phillips.

"Souvenir" is one of the twelve longer stories published in Jayne Anne Phillips's collection Black Tickets. The other fifteen stories in this collection are very short and are, appropriately, characterized as "short short stories." Black Tickets was published in 1979 to widespread critical acclaim.

The protagonist of "Souvenir" is the adult daughter of a fifty-five year old mother who is diagnosed with a potentially fatal brain tumor. Kate's mother is better able to face this terrible possibility with acceptance and calm than is Kate or her adult brother Robert. In this story, the younger woman struggles to come to terms with death, loss, and separation. Phillips presents Kate's special efforts to maintain a close contact with her mother, even though, as the conversations and scenes between them reveal, she and her mother sometimes disagree. The reader learns, for example, that Kate sends her mother a Valentine's Day card every year, except the year in which the events of this story take place, this year when her mother falls ill. By having Kate's failure to fulfill this special gesture coincide with the year that her mother falls ill, Phillips points to the inevitable failure of, or, at least, inadequacy of, our attempts to overcome or avoid the pain of life's separations.

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This section contains 211 words
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