A New Christmas Treasury: 2revised and Expanded

Jack Newcombe, Editor Viking Books $25 (560p) ISBN 978-0-670-83960-5
This eclectic mix of 89 short stories, essays, excerpts and poems highlights the religious and secular elements of the Christmas season. Traditional Yuletide tales include two selections from Dickens, four from Thomas Hardy, Edna Lewis's fond childhood memories of rich holiday food and Laura Ingalls Wilder's description of a frontier Christmas fraught with hardship but redeemed by an improvised, cheerful celebration. Less conventional offerings appear as well: George Plimpton contributes a delightful piece about intensely competitive birdwatchers who hold an annual Christmas ``bird count''; Arthur C. Clarke contends that the portentous Star of Bethlehem may have been a supernova; P. D. James introduces a conniving, potentially lethal family who spend Christmas Eve at the home of a wealthy, unlovable uncle. Such notables as John Cheever, M.F.K. Fisher, Shirley Jackson and Peter Matthiessen are also represented here. Newcombe, who edited Viking's original A Christmas Treasury , juxtaposes the contemporary and the old-fashioned, the heartwarming and the unsentimental in a collection suitable for virtually all literary tastes. A BOMC joint publication. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Hardcover - 978-0-517-18635-0
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