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A Christmas Memory: One Christmas, and The Thanksgiving Visitor (Modern Library) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, November 12, 1996

4.7 out of 5 stars 156 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Taking its place next to Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood on the Modern Library bookshelf is this new and original edition of Capote's most famous short stories: "A Christmas Memory," "One Christmas," and "A Thanksgiving Memory." All three stories are distinguished by Capote's delicate interplay of childhood sensibility and recollective vision.

From the Back Cover

Available for the first time in a single volume are the three holiday stories that Truman Capote regarded as among his greatest works of short fiction. Two of these childhood memoirs - "A Christmas Memory" and "The Thanksgiving Visitor" - center on the author's early years with a family of distant relatives in rural Alabama. Both pay loving tribute to an eccentric old-maid cousin, Miss Sook Faulk, who became his best friend. In "A Christmas Memory", Miss Sook, Buddy (the narrator), and their dog, Queenie, celebrate the yuletide in a hilariously tipsy state. In the poignant reminiscence "One Christmas", six-year-old Buddy journeys to New Orleans for a reunion with his estranged father that shatters many illusions. And in "The Thanksgiving Visitor", Miss Sook invites the school bully, Odd Henderson - called by Buddy "the meanest human creature in my experience" - to Thanksgiving dinner.
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This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: The Modern Library; Reissue edition (November 12, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679602372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679602378
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sandra Mitchell on December 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Truman Capote does an amazing job of telling us three delightful stories of a young boy's favorite Christmas & Thanksgiving memories. Told with the candor and innocence that only a child can hold, you'll fall in love with Buddy and his favorite Aunt Sook. Buddy's love and affection for his dear Aunt Sook are evidenced in how he refers to her throughtout the stories...always calling her "my friend." Buddy & Sook will feel like your friends too! Plagued by a painful childhood and seemingly drawn on Capote's own life, Buddy is the victim of his parent's bitter divorce and custody battle and ends up living with his spinster aunts & hermit like uncle. It is during his time living here, that he recalls some of his most cherished memories. You'll remember the troubles of your youth as well as be amazed at this young boy's insightfulness. A great holiday tradition would be to re-read this book once a year.
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Format: Hardcover
The three stories in this little book--it's a hardback only slightly bigger than a paperback, and barely 100 pages--are skilfully told and charming; all are based on Capote's southern childhood. "A Christmas Memory" is the most straightforwardly nostalgic, told in the present tense, and covering the Christmas rituals the narrator, a little boy, shares with Miss Sook Faulk, an eccentric little old lady who appears in all three of these tales. The narrator of "One Christmas" is six years old and the child of divorced parents. He travels to New Orleans by bus to spend Christmas with his father, and the story is about his coming to terms with reality, as much as he can. The third story, "The Thanksgiving Visitor", is the tale of how Miss Sook invited the school bully to Thanksgiving dinner one year, and what happened.
All three are perfectly formed short stories. The first two are sad, or at least nostalgic; the third, the longest of them, is surprisingly upbeat. Capote was witty, precise and talented, and these three stories are a wonderful showcase for his talents. Recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
These wonderful stories touch my heart and stir my spirit like no other holiday stories ever have. If you can read these, and NOT recall people in your past who the stories remind you of, laugh or get a tear in your eye, you may need your pulse checked. Not only are they loaded with sentiment, humor, and emotion but Capote's incredible talent and style paint a picture that make these treasures even more precious
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Format: Hardcover
I love this book! Plain and simple. I always save it for the holiday season though and never read it at any other time. It's become a holiday tradition.
The three short stories all take place in holiday seasons during the depression and feature the same setting and characters, so they form a nice group for a single volume.
"A Christmas Memory" is my favorite short story ever. I've read it every Christmas for six or seven years now and I have the same powerful, emotional reaction every time. I smile, laugh, cry, and daydream about my own memories every time I read it. No other story affects me like this one, and I think everyone will see a little of themselves or their childhood somehwhere in these pages.
The other two stories are very well done. I'd probably rave about them much more if I could value each on its own merits, but they do get lost in the glare of "A Christmas Memory."
Excellent literary work, but I really value the beauty, simplicity, and truth in these stories. Highly recommended for a holiday evening with hot chocolate, a lit tree, and Xmas carols playing.
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By A Customer on July 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Truman Capote is the champion of the human heart in these tales of childhood memories that echo the spirit of love and celebration that we all wish for and find in these pages. Keep this volume on your bookshelf to warm the hearts of yourself and your loved ones throughout the year, and especially during those times that we rejoice in the love we have for one another.
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Format: Hardcover
While as other reviewers have stated, these three stories unfailingly and unflinchingly touch the heart and celebrate the spirit in ways far too many holiday tales only aspire to, Capote's stories, like his longer finished works like IN COLD BLOOD, are also pure literary delights. The characters of Buddy, Miss Sook, Odd Henderson, and Buddy's New Orleans father are richly individual and fully realized, yet resonant of some of the most colorful characters in the vast and lovely muddy swamp of Southern literature. Capote has often been reviled as a dissipate, degenerate, and decadent social butterfly, but these tales show him to hold the highest moral standards, of such degree that his defamers could never mete. The appeal of his work is wide and varied. There is a bit of the Dickensian in his characters as well as echoes of Faulkner, Tenessee Williams, Flannery O'Connoer and his chum, Carson McCullers. Stylistically, if one listens carefully, Poe and Melville, even Hawthorne and Cooper, and especially Capote's beloved Proust ring through and true. Truly, a holiday treat. Read it annually.
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By A Customer on February 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every year, on the first chilly day of autumn, I get this book off the shelf and read "A Christmas Memory." The story is a beautiful, elegiac account of Miss Sook's seasonal ritual of fruitcake-baking and gift-giving, which she and Truman Capote shared. The story encapsulates the spirit of the season. And the spirit carries me through my own fruitcake-baking for the season.
The other Christmas story in this collection, entitled "One Christmas," is probably my favorite short story of all time; the ending always makes me cry as few writings can. The story is a perfect, crystalline window into Truman Capote's soul as shaped by his sad childhood. Utterly heartbreaking. If you are looking for a gift for someone who celebrates Christmas and does not have the good fortune to have read these beautiful stories, this is the perfect little gift.
Do not be tempted to read these stories any other time of year. Keep these stories sacred to the season.
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