The King Of Kings Arrives
A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
If people remember Truman Capote these days, it is almost exclusively for the book In Cold Blood. This has been reinforced by two movies in the last decade or so treating of the Kansas farmhouse murders (Capote and Infamous). And while this book is important in its own right—kicking off a new genre of literature—it is too limited for anyone to come to a full appreciation of Truman Capote. Known more for his antics and parties, his literary feuds (with Norman Mailer and others), and for another book that never came, Capote is, it seems to me, at his best in this story.
A Christmas Memory is a short story, mostly autobiographical, about a young boy and his elderly female cousin. It is about being poor in Alabama in the 1930’s, about a relationship across the canyon of age, and about the richness and mystery of love. It is a charming, heartwarming, and melancholy tale. This is no Hallmark movie. It is the happy, hard, and ultimately holy story of Love. It is a superb Christmas story that calls to mind the Christmas Story born in Bethlehem ages ago. Merry Christmas.
“As for me, I could leave the world with today in my eyes.”