The Christmas Letters
A NovellaBook - 1996
Here, in a letter of her own, Lee Smith explains how she was inspired to write this celebrated epistolary novel:
Like me, you probably get Christmas letters every year. I read every word and save every letter. Because every Christmas letter is the story of a life, and what story can be more interesting than the story of our lives? Often, it is the story of an entire family. But you also have to read between the lines with Christmas letters. Sometimes, what is not said is even more important than what is on the page.
In The Christmas Letters, I have used this familiar format to illumine the lives, hopes, dreams, and disappointments of three generations of American women. Much of the story of The Christmas Letters is also told through shared recipes. As Mary, my favorite character, says, "I feel as if I have written out my life story in recipes! The Cool Whip and mushroom soup years, the hibachi and fondue period, then the quiche and crepes phase, and now it's these salsa years."
I wrote this little book for the same reason I write to my friends and relatives every holiday--Christmas letters give us a chance to remember and celebrate who we are.
With warmest greetings, Lee Smith
Baker & Taylor
A funny and evocative story introduces three generations of women who partake in the great American tradition of catching up on family news every Christmas by reading the vivid, gossipy letters from Birdy, Mary, and Melanie, who are all storytellers at heart. Tour.
Blackwell North Amer
This heartwarming story of three generations of Christmas letter writers is about family tradition, family love, family strength - the perfect story to give at Christmas, and to read yourself.
Birdie Pickett, her daughter Mary, and her granddaughter Melanie are all storytellers at heart. Their letters - folded inside their Christmas cards - tend to be long ones because they write to explain their lives as much to themselves as to far-flung family and friends.
In these vivid, familiar, gossipy letters, Lee Smith's skill at capturing women's voices renders the "clash of generations" - heard here at very close range - as the music of our ever-evolving American family life. It's the perfect music to listen to at Christmastime.
Three generations of women partake in the great American tradition of catching up on family news every Christmas by reading the vivid, gossipy letters from Birdy, Mary, and Melanie, who are all storytellers at heart