Torontoist serializes seasonal story

December 17, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

The New Yorker has shitcanned eliminated its fall fiction special issue, but on this side of the 49th Parallel, the Torontoist website is going in the opposite direction. Beginning today, and continuing every day until Christmas eve, they’re serializing a story called “Just Like the Ones We Used to Know” by Robert J. Wiersema, author of the novel Before I Wake and the novella The World More Full of Weeping.

Yesterday, the books editor at the Torontoist (he of the Bukowski-baiting Lori Lansens review) posted a note about the project along with an introduction from the author, in which Wiersema lays out his rationale for producing a Christmastime ghost story:

At first glance, there’s something a little counter-intuitive about a Christmas ghost story. After all, isn’t the season all about births and rebirths (depending on which point on the Christian/Pagan trapeze you occupy)? Well, yes.

And yet …

There’s a long history of ghosts and Christmas. One need look no further than what is perhaps the best known Christmas tale, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, which has not one but four ghosts (don’t forget poor Marley.) And on the other end of the spectrum one of the best known ghost stories – Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw – which is deliberately framed as “gruesome, as, on Christmas Eve in an old house, a strange tale should essentially be.”


One Response to “Torontoist serializes seasonal story”
  1. Don Doggett says:

    As far as Christmas (well, Yuletide) ghost stories go, there’s also the excellent Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, wonderfully translated by W.S. Merwin.