Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Tonight's Capote reading

We'd like to give one last plug for tonight's reading in our U District store by our own Used Book Buyer Brad Craft. For the last couple of years, Brad has very generously accepted our invitation to him to sit down in a nice comfortable chair and read us a story.

That story, "A Christmas Memory" by Truman Capote, is a remarkable piece of work, a largely autobiographical story about Capote, who as a young boy was sent to Monroeville, Alabama to be raised by his mother's relatives. Among the relatives, he met his beloved "Sook," Nancy Faulk—a childless, older woman distantly related to him—and they connected.

The boy—called Buddy—and Sook spend much of the story gathering supplies to make fruitcake for the relatives, but really the story is about poverty and loneliness—about the way we, in absence of our biological families, create our own with those who happen to be around. We're clever that way.

Sentimental? Oh, possibly. Quite beautiful, though. I've never been much for sentimentality in my reading tastes, but this one works for me. And Brad reads it with a tenderness and charm that really has brought a tear to my eye every time.

I understand Bukowski once wrote of Capote that he "never had his nose rubbed into life." The underlying sadness of "A Christmas Memory" certainly argues that, in my opinion. (And the seeming blindness of Bukowski to any form of pain that is not his own certainly reminds me why I've never cared for his writing.)

Please do join us.

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