Monday, November 15, 2010

A Christmas Memory, One Christmas, & The Thanksgiving Visitor, by Truman Capote

Book 42 (for the 50 Book Challenge)
Book 1 (for the Holiday Challenge)

I am not sure where I found this lovely Modern Library copy of three Truman Capote holiday stories, but I love it.  Capote came from a very broken home and spent his earliest years living with elderly cousins on an Alabama farm.  The youngest cousin, at age sixty-something, was Miss Sook.  Miss Sook was his best friend and she is featured in these stories.

"A Christmas Memory" was a reminiscence of the last Christmas season he spent in Alabama before being sent off to military school.  He and Miss Sook saved their money all year to buy the ingredients to make fruit cakes for everyone they knew.  Then he remembered the actual Christmas morning and gifts exchanged and their little dog.  It was lovely.

"One Christmas" told the story of one Christmas that he spent with his father in New Orleans.  He barely knew the man and was absolutely terrified.  Capote managed to convey the anxious feelings of his childhood self while at the same time illustrating a father that really wanted to connect with his son (if only for a short time).

"A Thanksgiving Visitor" tells the story of Miss Sook inviting the school bully to Thanksgiving dinner.  It was priceless.

While I have long been a fan of Truman Capote's writing, I have not been impressed with the stories of Capote as a person.  Admittedly, these impressions were colored by Dominick Dunne, with whom he had something of a flling out.  However, these stories from his childhood make me like Capote a bit better.  Both because they are charming stories about charming people and because he opened his heart from a troubled childhood to share them.

2 comments:

....Petty Witter said...

I'm also taking part in this reading challenge so thought I'd stop by to say hello and to see what other bloggers are reading. Some great choices, I think The Thanksgiving Visitor sounds like a particularly good read - mind you as we don't celebrate this holiday (I'm English) I'm interested to know more about it. Anyway, nice to have met you, enjoy the challenge.

Wakela Runen said...

Now that I have my reading for this challenge behind me, I am venturing out to see what others have read.

I personally have never been able to get into a Truman Capote book. My sister, Debbie, loves his writing.

I am glad that you enjoyed these books. I look forward to seeing what else you read for this challenge.