What is the setting of "A Christmas Memory"?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory" is what is known as "nostalgia fiction," Capote's memoir of his time with his cousin. nicknamed Sook. This reminiscence has a special dream-like quality to the events that are remembered in the setting of the 1930s in the South of America.

Capote's cousin Sook lived in Monroeville, Alabama, a sultry Southern town in the lower third of the state. So, the setting is similar to Monroeville. Capote writes that they spend time in the "kitchen of a spreading old house in a country town" in late November, when it is "fruitcake weather" and later near Christmas time. Specifically, Christmas Eve is the time in which Buddy [Truman Capote] and his cousin Sook gather pecans and other ingredients in order to make their fruitcakes that they bake for strangers:

Is it because my friend is shy with everyone except strangers that these strangers, and merest acquaintances, seem to us our truest friends?

Their fruitcake gifts make Buddy and his cousin feel close to "eventful worlds" beyone the old kitchen with its few of the sky.

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