A Christmas Memory

December 23, 2009 • 4:02 pm

If you haven’t read this short tale yet, I’m jealous, for you’ll have your first encounter with Truman Capote’s remarkable evocation of his childhood (better to buy it than read it online).  For me, this is the finest of all Christmas stories.  Capote is underrated as a prose stylist, and here he’s at his best. If you don’t have a tear in your eye at the end, you’re simply not human.

The story (first published in Mademoiselle in 1956) was made into a splendid t.v. drama ten years later, starring Geraldine Page as Aunt Sook and with narration by Capote himself. It won tons of awards.  Here’s the first part, and you’ll find the other five on YouTube:

5 thoughts on “A Christmas Memory

  1. Didn’t they do a remake loosely based on “a Christmas Memory” starring Jason Robards as the father in the early 70’s?

    Capote was a great writer.

  2. A nice story, but out of curiosity, why is it better to buy than read online? The author is long since dead, and left no dependents. It’s ecologically better to use a small amount of electricity to download it than the much larger amount of resources needed to manufacture, pack, and ship a book.

    Regarding the small amount of money that might be contributed to the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism, or other vague trickle-down economic effects on authors in general, it would be much more efficient to donate directly than to pass the money through a bunch of middlemen.

    The only thing I could see is that some people appreciate the feel of books, but that’s a subjective thing. To me, it seems entirely better to read it online.

  3. Interesting. I think Sally Field’s performance in Forrest Gump is reminiscent of Geraldine Page’s here.

    And the woman in the ’36 Chevrolet was a perfect copy from some ’30s film.

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