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Arts & Culture

Allan Gurganus’ ‘A Fool for Christmas’ Makes It To Print

Illustration of a pug in a santa hat.
Allan Gurganus
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''A Fool for Christmas'' (H&B Press/2019) includes watercolors by Allan Gurganus.

Fifteen years ago, Allan Gurganus gifted NPR listeners a 22-minute meandering tale from the perspective of a mall pet store manager during the holidays. The beloved North Carolina writer’s twinkle-eyed reading of “A Fool for Christmas” developed into a yearly tradition at The Regulator bookshop in Durham.

Now, the oral tradition lives on in a watercolor-illustrated and bound print chapbook on sale at independent bookstores and at Horse & Buggy Press. The novella is a collaboration between Duke Press, the Duke Special Collections that house Gurganus’ papers, Gurganus himself, and Dave Wofford of H&B Press. Host Frank Stasio talks with Gurganus, author of numerous books and winner of a Guggenheim fellowship and the Lambda Literary Award, about his modern fable. Dave Wofford joins the conversation to share the process behind designing the print-version of Gurganus’ now famous Christmas story. In addition to designing “A Fool for Christmas” (H&B Press/2019), Wofford curated a satellite gallery exhibition in downtown Durham.

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