November 17, 2016
Looking Back - A Literary Christmas
Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.
A Literary Christmas Edited by Lilly Golden
1992 Atlantic Monthly Press
Finished in January 1997
Rating: 3/5 (Fair)
The finest writers throughout the centuries have graced us with their literary visions of Christmas. Charles Dickens, O. Henry, Truman Capote immediately come to mind. Dozens of collections contain history's best. But what has been sorely missed on bookstore shelves is a collection of great contemporary Christmas stories by today's most gifted writers. Here, gathered in one volume, are twenty-seven stories that celebrate the spirit of Christmas present. In Ray Bradbury's tale an aging priest becomes reconciled with his past on Christmas Eve, while in Frank O'Connor's story a young boy's Christmas morning brings the end of innocence in the devastating knowledge that there is no Santa Claus. Paul Bowles tells the traumatic account of a small boy's Christmas that is overshadowed by his cruel father, while Ron Carlson offers an inspiring story in which a loving husband's unspoken Christmas wish is granted when his wife tells him she wants to have a baby. Though these stories share the subject of Christmas, whether as a central theme or as subtext, each explores a unique aspect of the holiday season and its psychological and emotional reverberations. And most important, in each of these marvelous stories, some uplifting, some deeply melancholy, we are given a Christmas tale of the highest literary order.
My Original Notes (1997):
So-so. So many of the short stories were depressing! I enjoyed these, though:
Bless Me, Father, for I Have Sinned by Ray Bradbury
Auggie Wren's Christmas Story by Paul Auster
Christmas for Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo by Ntozake Shange
Christmas by Harper Lee
Where You'll Find Me by Ann Beattie
The Night of the Magi by Leo Rosten
The H Street Sledding Record by Ron Carlson
My Current Thoughts:
I no longer own this book, so I can't go back and re-read these stories. After 20 years I have absolutely no recollection of any of them!