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

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.