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A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
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A Christmas Memory (1956)

by Truman Capote

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A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
Fruitcake weather and a nice warm memory of why it's made and with who.
His cousin Mrs. Falk is remembered fondly. Detailed descriptions of the scenes as they are brought into the picture.
I can just imagine the smells as the baking starts. He's only 7 and she's in the 60's.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device). ( )
  jbarr5 | Oct 30, 2014 |
Caught up in the fact that I do not like the personality of what was Truman Capote. Dying from alcoholism, with few friends because he threw them away with his cutting, acerbic, back-biting nastiness, in his insecurity, claiming he helped Harper Lee pen her award-winning novel, while in fact she helped him write his masterpiece In Cold Blood, I allowed this to cloud my opinion of his writing.

Then, I read this incredible book and it confirmed what a talented, gifted writer he was.

His childhood was terrible, neglected by parents, abandoned by both, his early life was filled with instability. Save for a wonderful elderly cousin in Alabama, who understood this intelligent, feminine, lonely child and who surrounded him with unconditional love and memories to last a life time, his early life was insecure and lonely.

With a nasty custody battle looming over his head, he landed with distant relatives in Alabama. It is in Alabama that he met his long-time friend Harper Lee, who befriended Truman, and developed his personality into the character of Dill in her Pulitzer Prize winning To Kill a Mockingbird.

This book, however is not about Harper; it is about Christmas; it is about times that were economically difficult, and emotionally trying. Living in a house of one elderly man and three older spinsters, he sensed that it was cousin Sooke who broke through his barriers and allowed him to be temporarily free of pain.

Some said she was "simple minded", "childlike", yet those were the traits that endeared Truman to her and that enabled her to love him with a pure, innocent love that endured.

Scrimping together enough pennies to make 30 fruit cakes, Truman and his cousin carefully collected the items and made batches of wonderful smelling, great tasting treats to give to those they knew, and to some they hardly knew. Tasting the last bit of whiskey at the bottom of the jar, and dancing in the candle light provided laughter to a boy who barely knew how to laugh.

Walking through the woods to cut down the nicest tree; slipping in the water as they trudged through the underbrush; pulling the large pine and stopping when they grew tired, were but a part of the memories that Truman held dear.

Carefully fashioning hand-made kites to give to each other for Christmas presents, and then allowing their spirits to soar with the wind that held the kites aloft provided rare memories to hold in his heart.

Five Stars! ( )
2 vote Whisper1 | Oct 21, 2014 |
A beautifully written autobiographical story of a Christmas some twenty years in the author's past, during the Depression, when he was a boy and his sixty-something older cousin, still a child in her mind and his best friend, would make some thirty fruitcakes for Christmas to deliver to everybody they knew, and some they didn't. The picture on the cover is of Capote and his cousin. I think this is the best thing I have read by Capote, certainly the most poignant. ( )
  burnit99 | Apr 19, 2014 |
This is one of my favorite holiday stories, though I only discovered it a few years ago. It is beautiful and familiar and heartbreaking. This version has lovely illustrations and includes an audio CD with Celeste Holm narrating. ( )
  glade1 | Dec 29, 2013 |
In “A Christmas Memory,” Capote eloquently shares what was likely one of the most poignant Christmases of his life. It is the story of seven-year-old ‘Buddy’ and his closest friend, an elderly cousin. The captivating nature of this considerably older cousin springs the story into action with a simple declaration, “Oh my, it’s fruitcake weather!” Thus begins our journey with Buddy and his friend, and there’s not a moment to lose. Dozens of fruitcakes must be baked and given away as Christmas gifts, which is no simple task. However, this is only the beginning. There is still a tree to be cut, countless decorations to make by hand, and naturally, all the busy activity of the big day itself – Christmas.

Capote paints such a delicious picture of this memory that like Buddy and his friend’s Christmas tree, you feel you could almost eat it. Sweet and delightfully funny, it is the touching story of two friends encountering the highs and lows of the Christmas season together. Perhaps, most importantly, it is a reminder to us all that, like Buddy, we never know what the next day or the next Christmas will bring. Wherever we are and whoever we are with – these are the places and the people we must enjoy to the fullest, wringing out every drop of joy that we can because there is no guarantee it will come again. As Buddy’s friend may have very well said, “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
1 vote RGatti | Dec 17, 2013 |
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Imagine a morning in late November.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Capote's "A Christmas Memory" ("Un ricordo di Natale", "Eine Weihnachts-Erinnerung", "Een kerstherinnering", etc.) should not be confused with his "One Christmas" ("Un Noel", "Eine Weinechtan", "Un Natale", etc).
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Anthologized:

In: Breakfast at Tiffany's: A Short Novel and Three Stories (Modern Library, 1994) pp. 143-161.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375837892, Hardcover)

A Christmas Memory is the classic memoir of Truman Capote's childhood in rural Alabama. Until he was ten years old, Capote lived with distant relatives. This book is an autobiographical story of those years and his frank and fond memories of one of his cousins, Miss Sook Faulk. The text is illustrated with full color illustrations that add greatly to the story without distracting from Capote's poignant prose.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:22:04 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

A reminiscence of a Christmas shared by a seven-year-old boy and a sixtyish childlike woman, with enormous love and friendship between them.

» see all 2 descriptions

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