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Truman Capote's


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EVENT TIME

Thursday, December 1st
6pm Doors Open | 6:30pm Show Begins


LOCATION

The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures at 5235 Oak Street, Kansas City, MO


PRESENTED BY

Young Friends of the Kansas City Public Library in collaboration with The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures

In the tradition of Charles Dickens publicly reading his holiday favorite "A Christmas Carol," English professor Dr. Park Bucker will present a dramatic reading of Truman Capote's classic American story of holiday remembrance and redemption, "A Christmas Memory," at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures.


The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures and Young Friends of the Kansas City Public Library present "A Christmas Memory," Truman Capote’s bittersweet memoir of a Depression-era holiday, as performed by English professor Park Bucker. Composed by the author of Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood, the story recalls Capote’s Alabama childhood with his “best friend,” a mentally disabled, middle-aged cousin, as they bake over thirty Christmas fruitcakes for friends, both known and unknown. In the tradition of Charles Dickens publicly reading his holiday favorite A Christmas Carol, Dr. Bucker will present this American classic of holiday remembrance and redemption.


PROGRAM NOTES

Although Truman Capote (1924-1984) enjoyed widespread celebrity during his lifetime as a gossipy raconteur and witty television personality, his greatest achievement remains as a literary artist.

As a writer he excelled in a variety of genres: short stories (“Children on Their Birthdays,” 1948); novels (Other Voices, Other Rooms, 1948); novellas (The Grass Harp; 1951 and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1958); journalism (The Muses Are Heard, 1957); plays (The Grass Harp, 1952); musicals (House of Flowers, 1968); screenplays (Beat the Devil, 1954 and The Innocents, 1961); and his great non-fiction masterpieces In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences (1965), recounting the gruesome massacre of a Kansas farm family. His prose combines lofty lyricism with scathingly-accurate, sometimes brutal, reportage.

The autobiographical short story “A Christmas Memory” (1956) retells the author’s Depression-era childhood holidays spent in Monroeville, Alabama. Capote’s divorced parents—seeming disinterested in raising children—deposited their precocious son with relatives. Capote bonded with his elderly cousin Sook Faulk. At this time, Capote also developed a lifelong friendship with his Monroeville neighbor Harper Lee. In her 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee used Capote as a model for the character Dill Harris.

Capote’s literary legacy has long outlived his lifetime of scandal-laden notoriety. His reputation endures as a consummate stylist and storyteller.

"A Christmas Memory" was originally published in Mademoiselle magazine (December 1956) and is presented through the generous permission of the Truman Capote Literary Trust, Alan Schwartz Executor.

Tickets for this event are free! Click below to reserve yours.


ABOUT PARK BUCKER

Park Bucker holds a doctorate in American Literature from the University of South Carolina. His scholarship examines the professional careers and artistry of American authors. He has published books and articles on F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Willa Cather, Thornton Wilder, and Dorothy Parker among others. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Thornton Wilder Society. He also performs as a theatre practitioner, directing and acting in plays by William Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, Thornton Wilder, and William Inge.


ABOUT YOUNG FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY

Young Friends of the Library is a social group of young professionals and a committee of Friends of the Library, a volunteer organization championing the Kansas City Public Library and its mission to serve as a doorway to knowledge for all people in our community. Not a member yet? Join now and stay in the loop for fun events like this!
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