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Reliving "A Christmas Memory"
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Reading "A Christmas Memory," by Truman Capote, is a holiday tradition for many, especially for folks in Duluth. (Image courtesy of Random House)

Duluth, Minn. — For some people, Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory" is a holiday classic. It's the autobiographical account of a simpler Christmas celebration.

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Image Joe Maiolo

Buddy is a young boy living with elderly relatives. He and his "friend," a distant cousin in her 60s, hoard pennies to buy the ingredients for fruitcakes to give as gifts. They make kites for each other. Despite her frail condition, they go out to cut down a Christmas tree, accompanied by their dog.

Joseph Maiolo teaches literature and fiction writing at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. He's been hosting a public reading of Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory" every year for nearly 30 years. More than 100 people attend the traditional event, even though the audience is a little different every year.

The event takes place at the Weber Music Hall at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, Dec. 16 at 4 p.m.

Maiolo talked about what the story means to him with MPR's Stephanie Hemphill. To listen to the interview, and selected readings from the story, choose the audio link in the right column.

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