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Miracle

Cover of Miracle

Miracle

And Other Christmas Stories
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The winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards, Connie Willis capture the timeless essence of generosity and goodwill in this magical collection if Christmas stories. These eight tales-two of which...
The winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards, Connie Willis capture the timeless essence of generosity and goodwill in this magical collection if Christmas stories. These eight tales-two of which...
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Description-
  • The winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards, Connie Willis capture the timeless essence of generosity and goodwill in this magical collection if Christmas stories. These eight tales-two of which have never before been published-boldly reimagine the stories of Christmas while celebrating the power of love and compassion. This enchanting treasury includes:

    "Miracle," in which a young woman's carefully devised plans to find romance go awry when her guardian angel shows her the true meaning of love
    "In Coppelius's Toyshop," where a jaded narcissist finds himself trapped in a crowded toy store at Christmastime
    "Epiphany," in which three modern-day wisemen embark on a quest unlike any they've ever experienced
    "Inn," where a choir singer gives shelter to a homeless man and his pregnant wife-only to learn later that there's much more to the couple than meets the eye
    And more

    From the Paperback edition.

Excerpts-
  • Introduction I love Christmas. All of it--decorating the tree and singing in the choir and baking cookies and wrapping presents. I even like the parts most people hate--shopping in crowded malls and reading Christmas newsletters and seeing relatives and standing in baggage check-in lines at the airport.

    Okay, I lied. Nobody likes standing in baggage check-in lines. I love seeing people get off the plane, though, and holly and candles and eggnog and carols.

    But most of all, I love Christmas stories and movies. Okay, I lied again. I don't love all Christmas stories and movies. It's a Wonderful Life, for instance. And Hans Christian Andersen's "The Fir Tree."

    But I love Miracle on 34th Street and Christopher Morley's "The Christmas Tree That Didn't Get Trimmed" and Christina Rosetti's poem "Midwinter." My family watches The Sure Thing and A Christmas Story each year, and we read George V. Higgins's "The Snowsuit of Christmas Past" out loud every Christmas Eve, and eagerly look for new classics to add to our traditions.

    There aren't a lot. This is because Christmas stories are much harder to write than they look, partly because the subject matter is fairly limited, and people have been writing them for nearly two thousand years, so they've just about rung all the changes possible on snowmen, Santas, and shepherds.

    Stories have been told from the point of view of the fourth wise man (who got waylaid on the way to Bethlehem), the innkeeper, the innkeeper's wife, the donkey, and the star. There've been stories about department-store Santas, phony Santas, burned-out Santas, substitute Santas, reluctant Santas, and dieting Santas, to say nothing of Santa's wife, his elves, his reindeer, and Rudolph. We've had births at Christmas (natch!), deaths, partings, meetings, mayhem, attempted suicides, and sanity hearings. And Christmas in Hawaii, in China, in the past, the future, and outer space. We've heard from the littlest shepherd, the littlest wise man, the littlest angel, and the mouse who wasn't stirring. There's not a lot out there that hasn't already been done.

    In addition, the Christmas-story writer has to walk a narrow tightrope between sentiment and skepticism, and most writers end up falling off into either cynicism or mawkish sappiness.

    And, yes, I am talking about Hans Christian Andersen. He invented the whole three-hanky sob story, whose plot Maxim Gorki, in a fit of pique, described as taking a poor girl or boy and letting them "freeze somewhere under a window, behind which there is usually a Christmas tree that throws its radiant splendor upon them." Match girls, steadfast tin soldiers, even snowmen (melted, not frozen) all met with a fate they (and we) didn't deserve, especially at Christmas.

    Nobody, before Andersen came along, had thought of writing such depressing Christmas stories. Even Dickens, who had killed a fair number of children in his books, didn't kill Tiny Tim. But Andersen, apparently hell-bent on ruining everybody's holidays, froze innocent children, melted loyal toys into lumps of lead, and chopped harmless fir trees who were just standing there in the forest, minding their own business, into kindling.

    Worse, he inspired dozens of imitators, who killed off saintly children (some of whom, I'll admit, were pretty insufferable and deserved to die) and poor people for the rest of the Victorian era.

    In the twentieth century, the Andersen-style tearjerker moved into the movies, which starred Margaret O'Brien (who definitely deserved to die) and other child stars, chosen for their pallor and their ability to cough. They had titles like All Mine to Give and The Christmas...
About the Author-
  • Connie Willis has won six Nebula Awards (more than any other science fiction writer), six Hugo Awards, and for her first novel, Lincoln's Dreams, the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Her novel Doomsday Book won both the Nebula and Hugo Awards, and her first short-story collection, Fire Watch, was a New York Times Notable Book. Her other works include To Say Nothing of the Dog, Bellwether, Impossible Things, Remake, and Uncharted Territory. Ms. Willis lives in Greeley, Colorado, with her family and is hard at work on her next novel, Working Cape Race.

    From the Hardcover...

Reviews-
  • Publishers Weekly

    "The witty, literate Willis offers to wonderfully enjoyable ode to Christmas."

  • The Denver Post "When the holidays seem too stressful, pick up Miracle and Other Christmas Stories, slow down, read a few and remember what the holiday is all about."
  • San Antonio Express-News ""Willis is a national treasure."
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    Random House Publishing Group
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