Last weekend I attended my husband’s college reunion. The part that is relevant to this post is that we meandered through the English Department. Lo and behold, the corridors were lined with pictures of writers.
When I saw the picture of Mark Twain, I remembered last week’s discovery—that he had published a short story mystery unbeknownst to most. So when I picked up the May 1 New Yorker and saw an article about Elizabeth Strout—author of Olive Kitteridge—I was immediately interested. It’s a great article.
But back to the English Department. Below are several writers honored in the halls of higher education. Choose one—or any author you prefer—and investigate their peopleness (if I may coin the term). Find an article. Pick up a biography or memoir. Do an online search. You’ll surely be entertained, and perhaps surprised.
Let me know who you chose and why!
It lists fourteen novels alphabetically by author, ranging from Cecelia Ahern (The Gift) to Anthony Trollope (Harry Heathcote of Gangoil). There are classics by Dickens and a mystery by Agatha Christie, some more like fables and others geared toward children.
Short stories and collections
Short stories and collections are treated the same way. Fourteen are listed in this category, from Hans Christian Andersen (The Fir-Tree) to Kurt Vonnegut (While Mortals Sleep). Again there are mysteries by Agatha Christie, but also by Arthur Conan Doyle. Moving. Emotional themes range the gamut, and I venture to say that things with Christmas themes are often strong on emotion.
Poetry and Nonfiction
Poetry and Nonfiction have fewer offerings, only four, so I’ll mention them all.
- Clement Clarke Moore (‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, originally published as A Visit from St. Nick).
- Dr. Seuss (How the Grinch Stole Christmas).
- Anne Sexton (“Christmas Eve”)
- Francis Pharcellus Church (“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus”—a newspaper editorial)
This is just one handy list. You can also search for Christmas Traditions, History of Christmas, Mysteries set at Christmas, etc.