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December 2004
A Kentucky Christmas
edited by George Ella Lyon

From the first edition hardback (University Press of Kentucky):

A Kentucky Christmas is many things—a homecoming and a housewarming, a time to remember the old ways and a time to build new traditions, a feast-laden table and a fragrant tangerine stuffed deep in a worn stocking. It is also a season for storytelling, when family and friends gather at the homeplace to share warm memories, laughter, and dreams for the new year.

A Kentucky Christmas is a gathering of the state’s best holiday literature—short fiction, poems, songs, and essays by [more than] 60 contributors, from established literary greats such as James Still and Elizabeth Madox Roberts to exciting new voices such as Linda Scott DeRosier and Silas House. Like the best gifts, the offerings here are both satisfying and surprising. They evoke vivid imagery of the state and the season—snow-dusted hilltops, cedar trees waiting to be cut for decoration, sweet spiral-cut hams and the feel of bread dough, the scurrying of children in a crowded living room.

Along with the inspirational, several of the stories explore the complexities of the holiday season—the clash of tradition and change, feelings of loneliness and loss, and the bittersweet realization that you can’t always go home again. In the hands of Kentucky’s finest writers, these themes are freshly poignant and provocative.

For anyone who knows Kentucky—or the state’s fine canon of literature—A Kentucky Christmas promises to be a wonderful holiday gift and a treasured family keepsake.

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