Morvern Callar is the debut novel by Scottish author Alan Warner, first published in 1995. Narrated in the first person, it tells the story of Morvern, who wakes up near Christmas to find her boyfriend dead in the kitchen.
Following her boyfriend's suicide, supermarket clerk Morvern Callar passes off his unpublished novel as her own. With the money her boyfriend left for his funeral, she leaves Scotland for Ibiza where she travels with her closest friend. The journey prompts a series of internal and external transformations for Morvern— ones which bring to light her experiences of grief, memory, freedom, and desire.
A thoughtful work of art, Morvern Callar is an intense but quiet reflection on the consequences and morality of carelessness.
This book and the film based on it provides examples of:
- 24-Hour Party People
- Ambiguous Ending
- Cassandra Truth: When Morvern and Lana arguing, Morvern tells her boyfriend's death to Lana but she doesn't believe her.
- Crappy Holidays: See below Horrible Camping Trip.
- Character Title
- Disposing of a Body: Morvern hides her boyfriend's dismembered body at the top of mountain.
- Driven to Suicide: Morvern's boyfriend.
- Emotionless Girl: Morvern.
- Forging the Will: Morvern uses the money for her boyfriend's funeral to fund her Spain trip and she's pretending to be the author of her boyfriend's novel. and his body isn't given a funeral but instead dismembered.
- Heterosexual Life-Partner/Living Emotional Crutch/Only Friend: Morvern and Lana.
- Horrible Camping Trip: Poor Lana. She slept in a strange country on a strange road with Morvern.
- Maintain the Lie: Morvern lies to other people that her boyfriend left her. She also told Lana about her boyfriend's death, but Lana doesn't believe her. She also lied about writing the novel to the publisher.
- Mummies at the Dinner Table: At the beginning of the story, Morvern doesn't clean up her boyfriend's body. She even dismembers it instead of giving it a funeral.
- Unexpected Inheritance: Morvern's boyfriend left money for his funeral, a novel and in the movie, a mixtape.
- Personal Effects Reveal: Morvern discovered her boyfriend's unpublished novel, so she takes all the credit and got published. Ironically, the publisher highly praised the novel.
- Plagiarism in Fiction: She plagiarised her boyfriend's novel by claiming she wrote it.
- Posthumous Character: Morvern's boyfriend.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Morvern dismembered her boyfriend's body while listening to "I'm Sticking with You".
- Twisted Christmas: Morvern's boyfriend dies around Christmas.
- Unreliable Narrator: (Only Novel) Morvern dismembered her boyfriend's body and stole his novel. Her mental state is unclear.
- We Used to Be Friends: At the end, Morvern leaves Lana.