The Captive Neice - A Short Story by Mavis Gallant
This story is included in two collections, In Transit and The Collected Short Stories of Mavis Gallant
April 11, 1922 - Montreal
1950 - moves to Paris
September 1, 1951- publishes, in The New Yorker, her first short story. She would publish 116 stories in The New Yorker.
February 18, 2014 - passes away in her beloved Paris
I am reading along as best I can, having access to only about half of her stories, with Buried in Print on their read through of the Short Stories of Mavis Gallant.
"The Captive Neice" has two central characters, a woman, guessing in her early twenties and a man, her loved and maybe can be seen as her captor, thirty nine years old. For sure you will find him very annoying. At first he keeps calling himself an old man then it is revealed he is just thirty nine. The woman was raised by her aunt, her parents having passed. The live together in a low rent hotel. He stays in an reads and smoked cigarettes, the room reeks of them but it is too cold to open the window.
We are left to our imagination in deciding how their relationship began, where their money comes from and
perhaps most of all, why the woman does not just move on. She is
pursuing a job in the theater. The man seems to know the exalted man for whom she is auditioning. They have words over this.
This is another story about a relationship that on the face of it makes little sense. We are left to ponder the couple's
past and future.