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)

Publisher's Blurb:

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!


  1. It's a shame you can't reread the stories. I'm curious about what you'd think of them today.

    1. Deb, I may try to Google some and see if I can read the ones I enjoyed.

  2. Hello, Les. I ventured over to your beautiful blog from Bellezza's blog. I hope will have a chance to reread at least some of the stories. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    1. Hi, Suko! Thanks so much for stopping by and saying hello. Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving. We're enjoying a long weekend with our kids in Dallas. Perfect fall weather!


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