“A Christmas Memory” is a short story by Truman Capote. First published in 1956, this much sought-after autobiographical recollection of Capote’s rural Alabama boyhood has become a modern-day classic.
This 1997 film version stars Patty Duke, Piper Laurie and Eric Lloyd. As directed by Glenn Jordan, and adapted by Duane Poole, the gentle and lyrical holiday-themed drama begins with a seven-year-old boy, Buddy (Eric Lloyd) whose parents drop him off with distant relatives in an unfamiliar town one Christmas holiday.
Enjoy this film on the wall-sized screen of the Dunaway Center, 23 School Street, Ogunquit. Admission, Parking and Popcorn are free.
Suddenly lonely and displaced, Buddy finds peace and solace in an unlikely cross-generational friendship with a sweet-natured old woman, Sook (Patty Duke). The two join forces and embark on a series of heartwarming adventures. The evocative narrative focuses on country life, friendship, and the joy of giving during the Christmas season, and it also gently yet poignantly touches on loneliness and loss.
Originally published in ”Mademoiselle” magazine in December 1956, it was reprinted in The Selected Writings of Truman Capote in 1963. It was issued in a stand-alone hardcover edition by Random House in 1966, and it has been published in many editions and anthologies since.
Truman Capote was born Truman Streckfus Persons on September 30, 1924, in New Orleans, Louisiana. One of the 20th century’s most well-known writers, Capote was as fascinating a character as those who appeared in his stories. His parents were an odd pair—a small-town girl named Lillie Mae and a charming schemer called Arch—and they largely neglected their son, often leaving him in the care of others. Capote spent much of his young life in the care of his mother’s relatives in Monroeville, Alabama.
He formed a fast bond with his mother’s distant relative, Nanny Rumbley Faulk, whom Truman called “Sook”. “Her face is remarkable – not unlike Lincoln’s, craggy like that, and tinted by sun and wind”, is how Capote described Sook in “A Christmas Memory.”
In Monroeville, he was a neighbor and friend of author Harper Lee, (To Kill a Mockingbird) who is rumored to have based the character Dill on Capote. Lee became his life-long friend, and later aided him during the four years he spent writing one of his signature books, In Cold Blood.