Thanksgiving Reading: Bullies, brothers, unicorns and Bob

Happy Thanksgiving, people! Some drink their way through the holidays, but we have books. The day of thanks makes an appearance in these essays, stories, and novels that we’re pretty into. You too?

1. “North Of” by Marie-Helene Bertino

What happens when you bring Bob Dylan home for Thanksgiving? Brothers get jealous. Mothers get confused. And someone gets a bloody lip.

2. “The Thanksgiving Visitor” by Truman Capote

How do you deal with the neighborhood bully? You invite him to your Thanksgiving party and watch shit go down.

3. Nobody’s Fool by Richard Russo

Deadbeat dad in deadbeat town, meet deadbeat son. For the deadbeat in all of us.

4. May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes

Did your brother’s wife mean to run into you all sexual like in the kitchen on Thanksgiving? Everything hinges on this.

5. East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Watch out for evil brothers on Thanksgiving. They could tell you things about moms that you’d rather not know.

6. “Some far-flung pilgrims celebrate Thanksgiving abroad” by Steven Weissman

How do you find a turkey for twenty in Paris? You don’t. But these aren’t American’ts. They’re Americans. And they’re celebrating T-day in many a country in many a way.

7. A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle

Breaking news over cranberry relish: Mad Dog Branzillo will wage nuclear war! Better get on that unicorn and head back in time to stop the insanity.

8. The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler

Your son has been murdered. You divorce. You break your leg. But more importantly, what are you doing for Thanksgiving?

9. David Sedaris being David Sedaris

“On the night before Thanksgiving, one of Lisa’s neighbors was arrested for having sex with his dog.”

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— Erika Anderson is an online editor for Electric Literature. She also teaches for Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop, interns with Guernica, and co-hosts the Renegade Reading Series. She is online and in Brooklyn.

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