Synopses & Reviews
Available for the first time in a single volume are the three holiday stories that Truman Capote regarded as among his greatest works of short fiction. Two of these childhood memoirs "A Christmas Memory" and "The Thanksgiving Visitor" center on the author's early years with a family of distant relatives in rural Alabama. Both pay loving tribute to an eccentric old-maid cousin, Miss Sook Faulk, who became his best friend. In "A Christmas Memory," Miss Sook, Buddy (the narrator), and their dog, Queenie, celebrate the yuletide in a hilariously tipsy state. In the poignant reminiscence "One Christmas," six-year-old Buddy journeys to New Orleans for a reunion with his estranged father that shatters many illusions. And in "The Thanksgiving Visitor," Miss Sook invites the school bully, Odd Henderson called by Buddy "the meanest human creature in my experience" to Thanksgiving dinner.
"There is nothing wrong with schmaltz so long as it is well written. Clearly Truman Capote is one of America's greatest writers of tearful nostalgic memoirs. Here, for a third time, Mr. Capote uses the holiday season in-the exploration of a Southern boyhood. But this time the youngster is made to learn about drunkenness, divorce, even gigolos. This is not the stuff of schmaltz, but on the other hand the narrative never rises to the level of social realism. One Christmas, is, then, a failure of the middle ground." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
"Capote, in a bright, fluttering, wheeling way, makes all the tinsel and confetti and embroidery that bind together such delicate emotions in nostalgia and sentimentality come vigorously to life." New Yorker
"Truman Capote was a world-class braggart. So it is natural to take with a grain of salt his boast that he had written (to paraphrase) one story that is as good as any in the language, "A Christmas Memory." Nonetheless, the claim wasn't entirely without foundation. I won't speculate on the story's position in the literary canon, but it would certainly be difficult to name a more effective or affecting piece of writing. Perhaps this is because "A Christmas Memory" is a perfectly distilled expression of the deepest affection Truman knew in his turbulent life." C.P. Farley, Powells.com
(read the entire Powells.com review
Taking its place next to Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood on the Modern Library bookshelf is this new and original edition of Capote's most famous short stories: "A Christmas Memory," "One Christmas," and "A Thanksgiving Memory." All three stories are distinguished by Capote's delicate interplay of childhood sensibility and recollective vision.
Taking its place next to Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood on the Modern Library bookshelf is this new and original edition of Capote's most famous short stories: "A Christmas Memory, " "One Christmas, " and "A Thanksgiving Memory." All three stories are distinguished by Capote's delicate interplay of childhood sensibility and recollective vision.
TRUMAN CAPOTE was born in 1924 and died in 1984. Based on his own boyhood in rural Alabama in the 1930s, A Christmas Memory
was orginally published in Mademoiselle
in 1956 and later was included in Breakfast at Tiffany's
BETH PECK, a designer and illustrator of many children's books, fell in love with the writing of Truman Capote and counts her paintings for A Christmas Memory and The Thanksgiving Visitor, also by Capote, among the work that is closest to her heart.
About the Author
Truman Capote (1924-1984). Based on his own boyhood in rural Alabama in the 1930s, A Christmas Memory was orginally published in Mademoiselle in 1956 and later was included in Breakfast at Tiffany's.