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A Christmas memory by Truman Capote

A Christmas memory (original 1956; edition 1989)

by Truman Capote, Beth Peck (Illustrator), Celeste Holm

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6382515,162 (4.32)90
Title:A Christmas memory
Authors:Truman Capote
Other authors:Beth Peck (Illustrator), Celeste Holm
Info:New York : Knopf, [1989]
Collections:South Austin Bookies Book Club

Work details

A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote (1956)



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Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
read this my senior year in high school in my English class. loved the story and liked the movie
( )
  KimSalyers | Oct 2, 2016 |
read this my senior year in high school in my English class. loved the story and liked the movie
( )
  KimSalyers | Oct 1, 2016 |
Lovely,touching,heartwarming. A quick but unforgettable read for the season.The illustrations were beautiful.I will read this every year! ( )
  LauGal | Aug 16, 2016 |
5***** and a ❤

This autobiographical novella is a wonderful, touching story of family love. Capote is at the peak of his writing ability here. Our hearts embrace Buddy and Sookie. The date listed is when our book club discussed it, but I've had this book for ages and I read it every December on my birthday.

Update: December 2010
This autobiographical story is based on Capote’s own childhood, living with relatives in Alabama. It’s a memory of the innocence of childhood and the anticipation of something special. It is also a story of love and respect, as well as of loneliness and want.

One crisp November morning 7-year-old Buddy hears his cousin Sook (whom he calls Friend) declare, “It’s fruitcake weather!” With that pronouncement, the two set off on their annual campaign to bake dozens of fruitcakes for “friends.” Sook is an elderly woman with a child’s mind, and she and Buddy are constant companions (and each other’s only friend). It is during the Great Depression and times are hard. It takes them all year to save the pennies, nickels, dimes for their Fruitcake Fund, and the other relatives in their household look upon them with derision. Still, nothing can dampen their spirits as they bake and mail the fruitcakes, hunt deep into the woods for the perfect Christmas tree, make the ornaments and decorations that will make it look “good enough to eat!”

Capote was a gloriously talented writer and he is at his best here. The reader feels the anticipation of a child, smells the piney woods, shivers in the crisp morning, and is comforted in the warmth of love.
His writing is never so brilliant as when he is mining his childhood for stories such as this. The emotion is evident and genuine. His descriptions are gloriously vivid without overwhelming the story. The lessons learned – about kindness, tolerance, family, love and forgiveness – are gently told but ring loud and clear in the reader’s heart.

I leave you with one quote from the story. Sook and Buddy are enjoying the outdoors and she has a revelation …
“You know what I’ve always thought?” she asks in a tone of discovery, and not smiling at me but a point beyond. “I’ve always thought a body would have to be sick and dying before they saw the Lord. And I imagined that when He came it would be like looking at the Baptist window: pretty as colored glass with the sun pouring through, such a shine you don’t know it’s getting dark. And it’s been a comfort: to think of that shine taking away all the spooky feeling. But I’ll wager it never happens. I’ll wager at the very end a body realizes the Lord has already shown Himself. That things as they are” – her hand circles in a gesture that gathers clouds and kites and grass and Queenie pawing earth over her bone – “just what they’ve always seen, was seeing Him. As for me, I could leave the world with today in my eyes.” ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 12, 2016 |
An excellent collection of holiday short stories. All three stories are excellent. A great read around the Christmas holidays. Can easily read all three in a sitting! I read them every year. ( )
  MathMaverick | Dec 16, 2014 |
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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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Book description

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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:32 -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.

(summary from another edition)

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