Holiday short takes
A treasure trove of short stories from an astonishing array of distinguished writers, The Ecco Book of Christmas Stories features tales from two dozen authors including Muriel Spark, Graham Greene, Vladimir Nabokov and Ann Beattie. Editor Alberto Manguel chose stories that explore the holidays from virtually every angle. John Cheever's "Christmas Is a Sad Season for the Poor" is a stark meditation on why so many think of charity only during the Christmas season. Grace Paley's elegantly tough "The Loudest Voice" takes on the Jewish immigrant experience in an American culture steeped in Christianity. And Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory" is deeply bittersweet.
Richly thought-provoking, this is a collection to be savored. As Manguel writes, "Every reader knows that the best stories have no ending but continue beyond the page in the reader's own world."