This delightful book that takes the wind out of the holiday sails is The Dreaded Feast: Writers on Enduring the Holidays, edited by Michele Clark and Taylor Plimpton. It's a malicious/delicious anthology perhaps not best suited for the very young, it being neither warm-hearted nor child-like. But certainly hilarious and occasionally tragic.
Speaking of women, as writers they aren't particularly well-represented in this anthology and the one I have read thus far, Chris Radant's Home for the Holidays: A Survivor's Frightening Account, reflects the popular notion that the modern woman finds her parents intolerably provincial. Not popular with me, but Hollywood seems to like the idea.
If Jay McInerney's The Madonna of Turkey Season is like watching a holiday trainwreck, one can only imagine the emotional pain prevalent at the McInerney holiday dinners. I staggered away from his story and went directly to James Thurber's struggle with the mountainous dilemma of Christmas cards in Merry Christmas. It didn't quite wash away the angst of the McInerney clan but it helped. Still to read: Hunter S. Thompson, John Cheever, George Plimpton (whose chapter I shall probably save for last), David Sedaris, Augusten Burroughs and many more.blues because everything is supposed to be merry and bright but