Penned by distinguished and emerging writers, the works in Christmas Stories from Georgia span over two centuries of the state's storytelling. From the Blue Ridge Mountains to the seaport Savannah, the landscapes, characters, and holiday traditions described by these writers are uniquely Georgian.
Waiting to be unwrapped are scenes of Georgia Christmases past and present. Lillian Smith practices "peace on earth and good will to all" in her memoir of a Depression-era Christmas dinner shared with men from a local chain gang. Toni Cade Bambara's "Christmas Eve at Johnson's Drugs N Goods" seeks the true spirit of the season in the most commercial of settings, while Erskine Caldwell casts a darker shadow across the season of lights in "We Are Looking at You, Agnes."
Christmas magic works its spell in a number of tales. Jack Slay, Jr., wakes the dead with a discordant holiday marching band in "The Education of Edie Mac." Karen Schwind's "Healing the Sick" revives the living with a powerful laying on of hands. Santa Claus navigates a dry landing in Jason Taylor's "Yule Tides and Water Buffalos" but faces youthful doubters in an excerpt from Ferrol Sams's Christmas Gift!
The Civil War provides the backdrop for holiday tomfoolery in Joel Chandler Harris's "A Conscript's Christmas." Scarlett O'Hara, icon of Southern womanhood, welcomes Ashley Wilkes home on a holiday furlough in an excerpt from Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind.
Lewis Grizzard's "Little Things Mean a Lot to Little Ones" demonstrates renowned Georgia wit and wisdom. Additional pieces by Raymond Atkins, Laura Dabundo, Janice Daugharty, Jim Hendricks, Kenneth Robbins, and Philip Lee Williams complete this holiday collection.
Dorothy Dodge Robbins is assistant professor of English at Louisiana Tech University, and her work has appeared in Midwest Quarterly, Southern Quarterly, Centennial Review, and Texas Review. Kenneth Robbins, a Georgia native, is director of the school of the performing arts at Louisiana Tech University and is author of the novels The City of Churches, The Baptism of Howie Cobb, Buttermilk Bottoms, and In the Shelter of the Fold.