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A Christmas Memory

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  12,804 ratings  ·  1,305 reviews
First published in 1956, this much sought-after autobiographical recollection of Truman Capote's rural Alabama boyhood has become a modern-day classic. We are proud to be reprinting this warm and delicately illustrated edition of A Christmas Memory--"a tiny gem of a holiday story" (School Library Journal, starred review). Seven-year-old Buddy inaugurates the Christmas seas ...more
ebook, Hardcover & CD, 48 pages
Published October 10th 2006 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published 1956)
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Lee Likins First frost on the windowpane. The first autumn day a fire in the "stove" is necessary to heat the kitchen. …moreFirst frost on the windowpane. The first autumn day a fire in the "stove" is necessary to heat the kitchen. (less)

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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  12,804 ratings  ·  1,305 reviews

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Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote is a 1956 publication.

Lovely Christmas tale filled with humor and warm fondness!

Every year one of my friends on social media will write a review for this story, reminding me, once again, that I STILL haven't read it. By the time I make it to the library, the hold time for this popular classic goes well beyond the Christmas holidays- so I put it off for another year.

This year I got lucky and found a collection of short stories by Truman Capote, which also ha
Angela M
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I never liked fruitcake, but after reading this beautifully written story, I love the idea of fruitcake. I love that it represents love and caring and the spirit of giving and tradition. My childhood Christmas memories are nothing like Truman Capote’s, but after I read this I couldn’t help but think of all of the Christmas Eves at my grandparents’ house with so many cousins and aunts and uncles. My mother was one of ten children so there was a crowd of us. My father and my uncles sitting at card ...more
"Oh my, it’s fruitcake weather!"

This has to be one of the sweetest, most nostalgic of little stories I’ve ever read. I loved it! Seven-year-old Buddy and sixty-something Miss Sook are distant cousins and best friends. They share a house with one another, along with various other relatives, and have a precious bond due to the fact that Miss Sook, despite her age, is like a child herself. This story recounts one of Capote’s Christmas childhood memories of this unlikely friendship. Surely, we all h
Jan 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Lawyer by: Mr. and Mrs. R.H. McConnell, beloved grandparents
Capote's Holiday Memoirs: The Whispers of Memory

Truman Capote's The Thanksgiving Visitor was chosen as a Moderator's Choice by Laura Webber, "The Tall Woman," as a read for the group On the Southern Literary Trail for November, 2014

These reflections have been written over the course of nearly three years. After my wife read these thoughts, she pointed out the importance of marking the time of thoughts in connection with the events of our lives.

December 24, 2011

Perhaps I should say this is not so
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dem by: PattyMacDotComma
My thanks to my goodfriend's who read and reviewed this book so beautifully and in doing so brought me back 40 years to Christmas of years ago when neighbours and older people impacted so much on my childhood.

I too as a child growing up in a house of boys had a lovely old lady who lived next door and to whose house I escaped when I wanted to be pampered and spoiled, a lady who impacted so much on my childhood and from who I learnt so many skills from baking to knitting and cooking and this book
Amalia Gkavea
‘’It’s fruitcake weather.’’

‘’Now a nude December fig branch grates against the window. The kitchen is empty, the cakes are gone; yesterday we courted the last of them to the post office, where the cast of stamps turned our purse inside out. We’re broke.’’

A boy takes our hand to lead us to the USA of the (not so distant) past when equality was non-existent, when everything was either good or evil, when money was everything. Left by a mother who decided her career mattered more, left by a
Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile
A lovely and bittersweet childhood memory. The resounding message is to cherish the time you have with your loved ones and never take a moment for granted! Growing up and aging is an inescapable part of life, but it's so important not to lose sight of the most important people that make us who we are. ...more
“The black stove, stoked with coal and firewood, glows like a lighted pumpkin. Eggbeaters whirl, spoons spin round in bowls of butter and sugar, vanilla sweetens the air, ginger spices it; melting, nose-tingling odors saturate the kitchen, suffuse the house, drift out to the world on puffs of chimney smoke. In four days our work is done.”

How could anyone read this without a sense of nostalgia? Even if you never lived in a place with a fireplace or a wood stove or made any kind of holiday food,
Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile
A powerful memory of a childhood spent torn between parents and family members. Very eloquently written yet perfectly expressed the fears and confusion that a young child experiences in an adult world.
Dec 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful story filled with the kind of memories that I hope everyone has of their childhood Christmas seasons!
Cherish what you have before the time is gone, enjoy all the little things!
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story told here is really sweet, moving and delicate, a wonderful friendship and love between the old lady and this young boy named Buddy. I liked the meaning of cooking and making fruit cakes for others. I read this book initially alone, although the initial intention was an evening reading shared with my 10-year-old son, I will certainly reread it with him, perfect to prepare for the arrival of Holy Christmas.

La storia qui narrata è veramente dolce e commovente, delicata e meravigliosa l'
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂
Sweet, tender and achingly sad, this beautiful childhood memory of Truman Capote gathering ingredients for and making fruitcake for Christmas with his childlike and much older cousin had me in tears by the end.

Cruelly separated by life (aka his mother) I wish these two lovely souls had been able to reunite - just once- before the real Sook's death.

I'm glad Truman carried this memory in his heart.
“Imagine a morning in late November. A coming of winter morning more than twenty years ago. Consider the kitchen of a spreading old house in a country town. A great black stove is its main feature; but there is also a big round table and a fireplace with two rocking chairs placed in front of it. Just today the fireplace commenced its seasonal roar. A woman with shorn white hair is standing at the kitchen window. She is wearing tennis shoes and a shapeless gray sweater over a summery calico dress ...more
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5000-2020
I just finished this beautiful story and I am still blinking away a few tears for the ending.

What a superb tale of love and finding happiness in the smallest things. There is a lesson to be learned here about what is really important in life as one elderly lady makes Christmas special for a small boy who has very little at all.

Nostalgic, emotional and beautifully written. Something you could read every Christmas just like Sook making her thirty fruitcakes each November.

Thank you to Patty for b
Ahmad Sharabiani
A Christmas memory, Truman Capote
"A Christmas Memory" is a short story by Truman Capote. Originally published in Mademoiselle magazine in December 1956, it was reprinted in The Selected Writings of Truman Capote in 1963. It was issued in a stand-alone hardcover edition by Random House in 1966, and it has been published in many editions and anthologies since.
The largely autobiographical story, which takes place in the 1930s, describes a period in the lives of the seven-year-old narrator and an el
Oh my, this I totally, totally loved!!!

It captures the feeling of Christmas, the entire Christmas season as day by day the day finally arrives.

Even if Capote's Christmas is not your Christmas, and neither was it exactly my Christmas, because all of our Christmases are a little bit different from each other's, Capote magnificently captures what bubbles in our bodies and zings in our hearts at Christmas.

The ending has a hint of nostalgia which is perfect too.

Fantastic. Read it! Read it aloud
Diane S ☔
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
So many of my reading friends on this site have posted wonderful reviews of this, I just had to read. A wonderful Christmas story that shows the true meaning of the holiday, back before if turned into a consumerism nightmare. Like all good things concerning the young and the elderly, another that reminded me of my dearly missed grandparents. Like the lady in this story, they made Christmas a special time for my younger sister and I.
Connie G
This is a reread of a favorite Christmas story that I first read two years ago. Truman Capote wrote a beautiful Christmas story based on some special times he experienced as a seven-year-old. He was living with older relatives including his beloved sixty-something cousin, Miss Sook. She was a little childlike and sheltered from the world. However, Miss Sook knew how to have fun and had a generous heart. He recounts the holiday events of making fruitcakes and homemade gifts, and decorating the Ch ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Such an evocative and heartfelt story from Truman Capote, when he was a boy in the 1930s, saving nickels and dimes and pennies (“a hateful heap of bitter-odored pennies”) to buy the ingredients for homemade fruitcake that he makes with his favorite cousin, an older lady with the heart of a child.

It’s filled with vivid events and images that stick with you: buying illegal whisky from Haha Jones, decorating the Christmas tree with homemade paper decorations, a pair of kites hurrying toward heaven
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We are each other's best friends.

I've watched the television special - - countless times now, so it was impossible to read this without hearing Capote's voice.

Imagine a morning in late November. A coming of winter morning more than twenty years ago.

This short vignette tells of the last Christmas Capote spent with his friend, a distant, decades older cousin.

. . . we have lived together --- well, as long as I can remember. Other people inhabit th
Let me start off my review by saying that I am not a fan of Truman Capote. The books that I've read by him I've found incredibly dull and they didn't hold my interest, at all. With that being said, I found this little book, A Christmas Memory, to be completely charming and captivating. Such a sweet, lovable story about two misfits who genuinely care about one another. I felt great empathy towards "his friend" and the relationship she shares with Buddy. The ending of the book literary brought me ...more
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: truman-capote
Actually I’ve read this little sparkling gem for five years in a row,and will have been reading until I have memorized the whole passages.Let me add this;this is one of Haruki Murakami’s favs,and his Japanese translation is great!Good stories easily leap beyond the barrier of languages.It’s an undeniable fact.
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Re-read and added a star.

Truman Capote’s childhood memory of his adored cousin, the “sixty-something” yet childlike best friend of his youth, is brimming with richly evoked country seasonal preparations to immerse you in the holiday spirit.

“Scented acres of holiday trees, prickly-leafed holly. Red berries shiny as Chinese bells: black crows swoop upon them screaming. Having stuffed our burlap sacks with enough greenery and crimson to garland a dozen windows, we set about choosing a tree. ‘It s
This was the sweetest story. I loved the premise which is actually a reflection of the author’s own life and is set in the time of the Great Depression. A grown man is reminiscing on a childhood Christmas memory with his best friend. What makes their friendship so special is that “Buddy” is only 7 and his best friend is his elderly female, childlike cousin whom he had lived with as a child. They are on a search for the ingredients to make fruitcakes as Christmas gifts for thirty people- but they ...more
Not all Christmases can be wonderful, and this Christmas for Buddy (Truman Capote) was a bitter-sweet one because he didn't get to spend it with his cousin Miss Sook but was sent to visit his father whom he hardly knew.

Miss Sook told him that perhapse there would be snow in New Orleans. Neither of them had ever seen snow, but Miss Sook loved it as Buddy had said, “Sook read me many stories, and it seemed a lot of snow was in almost all of them. Drifting, dazzling fairy tale flakes.” Of course th
Oct 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
"Oh my," she exclaims, her breath smoking the windowpane, "it's fruitcake weather!"
Truman Capote ~~ A Christmas Memory


I first read Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory when I was 13 years old. I fell love with this story instantly, & still love it to this day. I believed then, as i believe now, that A Christmas Memory is one of the greatest short stories ever written.

Set in Alabama in the 1930s and inspired by his childhood, Capote tells the story of a Christmas he shared with his friend, Miss Soo
This very short piece was a delightful, autobiographical story by Truman Capote. This is the first thing I've ever read by him. Perfect to read on this Christmas Eve while I'm dealing with some wonderful, yet sad, memories of my own during this holiday season. I also love the beautiful illustrations in this book. 5 stars all the way! ...more
Dec 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
A sweet story about a child and an older woman, Miss Sook, who spent together some special years in Alabama. Come November, Miss Sook will declare "it's fruit cake time" and will proceed to purchase all the many ingredients needed, with the money she and the seven-year-old Buddy saved throughout the year.
It's a very melancholic story.

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays from the very hot Perth, Western Australia.
A Christmas Memory is a beautifully written little book by Truman Capote that is a perfect read for this holiday season, one that will warm your heart. It is autobiographical with memories of Capote's Alabama childhood. Seven-year old Buddy describes his best friend and distant cousin, Miss Sook, in her sixties but a child at heart. One early morning in November she excitedly declares to Buddy that it is "fruitcake weather." She dons her straw hat with the faded velvet roses and they guide their ...more
Dec 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I can remember first hearing this story read to me when I was in 5th grade. The reader broke down crying, which even at a young age, struck me how emotionally powerful this story remains. It's my favorite Christmas tradition - every Christmas Eve, when I finally retire, I take my worn copy of Capote's A Christmas Memory, snuggle into bed, and transport to a different time. I have an old video of A Christmas Memory narrated by Capote, so I continue to hear his distinct high-pitched voice speak th ...more
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Truman Capote was an American writer whose non-fiction, stories, novels and plays are recognised literary classics, including the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958) and In Cold Blood (1965), which he labeled a "non-fiction novel." At least 20 films and TV dramas have been produced from Capote novels, stories and screenplays.

He was born as Truman Streckfus Persons to a salesman Archulus Persons

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