American Christmas Stories (Hardcover)
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** A New York Times New and Noteworthy Book **
Library of America and Connie Willis present 150 years of diverse, ingenious, and uniquely American Christmas stories
Christmas took on its modern cast in America, and over the last 150 years the most magical time of the year has inspired scores of astonishingly diverse and ingenious stories. Library of America joins with acclaimed author Connie Willis to present a unparalleled collection of American stories about Christmas, literary gems that showcase how the holiday became one of the signature aspects of our culture.
Spanning from the origins of the American tradition of holiday storytelling in the wake of the Civil War to today, this is the biggest and best anthology of American Christmas stories ever assembled. From ghost stories to the genres of crime, science fiction, fantasy, westerns, humor, and horror, stories of Christmas morning, gifts, wise men, nativities, family, commercialism, and dinners from New York to Texas to outer space, this anthology reveals the evolution of Christmas in America--as well as the surprising ways in which it has remained the same.
About the Author
Connie Willis is a member of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame and a Grand Master of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. She has received seven Nebula awards and eleven Hugo awards for her fiction; Blackout and All Clear--a novel in two parts--and Doomsday Book won both. Her other works include Crosstalk, Passage, Lincoln's Dreams, Bellwether, Impossible Things, Remake, Uncharted Territory, To Say Nothing of the Dog, and Fire Watch. She lives in Greeley, Colorado. Her collection of Christmas stories, Miracle and Other Christmas Stories, was re-issued in an expanded edition in 2017 as A Lot Like Christmas.
"Willis, a writer of science fiction, has chosen 59 stories spanning 150 years and representing a range of styles and genres, from ghost stories to westerns, to show the spirit and evolution of the holiday." —New York Times, New & Noteworthy
"Does not expire 12/26: My problem with Christmas-themed Christmas presents is they look tired within 24 hours. “American Christmas Stories” ($30) explodes that idea thoroughly. Compiled by Library of America, it’s got memoir, sci-fi, crime — an expansive take on how Christmas can come across. More important, it’s got variety — Ray Bradbury, Sandra Cisneros, Ben Hecht, Gene Wolfe, Nathan Englander, W.E.B. Du Bois, and other authors not associated with holiday classics."
— Chicago Tribune, Best Gift Books to Give 2021
“For more examples of how miraculously flexible the holiday genre can be, check out “American Christmas Stories” from the Library of America (review). This handsome new anthology contains stories by Louisa May Alcott, Langston Hughes, Amy Tan and dozens more. Science fiction writer Connie Willis, who edited the collection, explains the circuitous development of the Christmas spirit in America and concedes that by the early 20th century most of our Christmas stories “were truly awful.” This anthology offers redemption.” — Ron Charles, Washington Post
"It is a trove of treasures, many long-forgotten, and an elegant addition to the Library of America’s series of authoritative American texts. Over time, I imagine many readers will incorporate some of these stories into their yearly Christmas traditions. Who knows? Some may even do what I did this year, and dip into it during Chanukah." — Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe