As a literary subject, Christmas has inspired everything from intimate domestic dramas, to fanciful flights of the imagination, and the full range of its expression is represented in this wonderfully engaging collection. Goblins frolic in the graveyard of an early Dickens tale; a love-struck ghost disrupts a country estate in Elizabeth Bowen's 'Green Holly'; devils, witches, Cossacks and peasants cavort in Gogol's 'The Night Before Christmas'. The plight of the less fortunate haunts Chekhov's 'Vanka' and Willa Cather's 'The Burglar's Christmas', but takes a boisterously comic turn in Damon Runyon's 'Dancing Dan's Christmas' and John Cheever's 'Christmas is a Sad Season for the Poor'., From Nabokov's intensely moving story of a father's grief in 'Christmas' to Truman Capote's hilarious yet heartbreaking 'A Christmas Memory', from Grace Paley's Jewish girl in the Christmas pageant in 'The Loudest Voice' to the dysfunctional family ski holiday in Richard Ford's 'Creche' - each of the stories is imbued with Christmas spirit of one kind or another, and all are richly and indelibly entertaining.
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