"A JOYOUS REMEMBRANCE"
PORTER, Katherine Anne. A Christmas Story. New York: Mademoiselle, 1958. Tall thin octavo, original white boards; pp. 20. $750.
First separate edition, warmly inscribed on the title page to her old friend and publisher from the thirties, the co-founder of Harrison of Paris, Barbara [Harrison] Wescott: “For Barbara this belated New Year Greeting. With love, Katherine Anne. 12 January 1962. Her personal 12th or 3 King’s Night!”.
In A Christmas Story, Porter's only holiday story, she "recalls a day before Christmas 1918—the last time Porter spent with her young niece." Before shopping for a gift for the girl's mother, Porter and the child discussed "various traditional Christmas legends," including a French song, Miracle of St. Bertha, as well as Adoration of the Three Magi, the Cherry-Tree Carol, and the Withy Tree, an English carol (Library of America). In a closing note, Porter writes of her deep sense of loss at the child's early death and notes: "the stories are those I told her, and those we sang together… a joyous remembrance." Porter "dazzled the literary world with the subtlety and power of her short stories" and her novel, Ship of Fools (1962). Her many "honors included the Pulitzer Prize, awarded to her in 1966 for her short stories, the National Book Award for fiction in the same year" (Washington Post). Initially appeared in Mademoiselle magazine, 1946; this 1958 edition was issued by Mademoiselle as a privately published edition for staff and select associates.
A wonderful association copy. Fine condition.