The Advent Calendar of Literature: Day 20

Interesting Literature

Yesterday we looked at one of the most important Christmas-themed works of twentieth-century American literature. Today, we’re sticking with twentieth-century American writers and moving on to the subject of Christmas gifts.

William Faulkner (1897-1962), author of The Sound and the Fury (1929) and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949, was quite an easy person to buy gifts for, by all accounts – or by his stepson’s account, at any Faulknerrate. The only Christmas presents that Faulkner would accept from his family were pipe cleaners. Faulkner’s stepson, Malcolm Franklin, wrote in his book Bitterweeds: Life with William Faulkner at Rowan Oak that Faulkner’s gifts ‘consisted of little bundles of pipe cleaners, some in assorted colors, others snow-white. There were all kinds of pipe cleaners in various bundles clinging precariously to the branches of the tree, each with its little tag. There was one package of Dill pipe cleaners…

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