58 pages 1 hour read

Morley Callaghan

All the Years of Her Life

Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1936

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“All the Years of Her Life”

  • Genre: Fiction; realistic short story; literary
  • Originally Published: 1936
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 760L; grades 6-12
  • Structure/Length: Approx. 4 pages; approx. 15 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: Alfred Higgins is caught shoplifting by Mr. Carr, who owns the drugstore where he works. Instead of calling the police right away, Mr. Carr calls Alfred’s mother, who surprises both Mr. Carr and Alfred with her composure and grace in the situation.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Shoplifting; family conflict

Morley Callaghan, Author

  • Bio: 1903-1990; Canadian novelist and short story writer; born in Toronto, Ontario; studied at both the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall Law School; a prolific writer known for his realistic and poignant portrayals of ordinary people and their struggles; associated with the “Toronto school” of Canadian literature and a contemporary of renowned authors such as Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald; selected for Governor General’s Award for Fiction (1938) for More Joy in Heaven
  • Other Works: Strange Fugitive (1928); It’s Never Over (1930); Such Is My Beloved (1934); More Joy in Heaven (1937); Luke Baldwin’s Vow (1948); A Fine and Private Place (1975)


CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • The Development of Empathy
  • The True Meaning of Maturity
  • The Selflessness of Maternal Love

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By Morley Callaghan