Chattering Mind

With the hot movie about Truman Capote still in the theaters, everybody’s rereading Capote’s “In Cold Blood,” the true story of two men with closeted sexual issues who brutally murder a wholesome Kansas family of four. I say, “There is another way to understand this remarkable author!” You’ll find a deeper, sweeter, still-alienated Capote in his 1956 work “A Christmas Memory,” which I was excited to recently find in the online Chinaberry catalog.

This is the story of the tender friendship of seven-year-old Capote, and an elderly cousin who was his caretaker in the Alabama town of his youth (the same town described by Capote’s friend Harper Lee in the monumental “To Kill a Mockingbird”).

“A Christmas Memory” begins with the recognition of “fruitcake weather” in late November and ends with a portrayal of the world’s sweetest Christmas gift exchange. You’ll catch the flavor of Capote’s Depression-era youth, a time when a child and an old woman could send a fruitcake to President Roosevelt and fully expect that he’d eat it. The book’s ending will leave you so touched and connected that you’ll stretch out on your couch and nap, dreaming of the handmade paper kites Capote and his friend fly Christmas morning.

Chinaberry’s website (one of my favorites) also features Thanksgiving Day books for kids. You might need one to cuddle up with while the turkey roasts. Two more weeks!

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