Kirkus Reviews QR Code
ONE CHRISTMAS by Truman Capote


by Truman Capote

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1983
ISBN: 0679443460
Publisher: Random House

With just 21 pages of large-print text, this autobiographical snippet (which originally appeared in Ladles' Home Journal) is even briefer than A Christmas Memory or The Thanksgiving Visitor; more crucially, perhaps, it's far less cozy than Capote's previous childhood stories--with only brief mention of Truman's surrogate mother, elderly cousin Miss Sook. The Christmas in question here comes when parent-abandoned Truman is six years old, summoned from Alabama (where he's been raised by relatives) to New Orleans: his father suddenly wants him for the holidays--"this stranger, who was forcing me to leave home and be away from Sook at Christmastime." The unhappy boy is hauled around to restaurants and friends. He falls in love--with a huge model air-plane in a store window. And then, on Christmas eve, the elegant father throws a big grownup party--as Truman gets some inkling of his father's gigolo life. . . and realizes for the first time that there is no Santa Claus. (He does, however, rather deviously, get the airplane--and, back home, Sook explains that "everybody is Santa Claus.") A fair enough little sliver of autobiography, complete with slipcase and outsized price-tag--but more poignant as a reminder of Capote's waning productivity than as a story proper.