You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas

Paperback | September 28, 2010

byAugusten Burroughs

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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER about Christmases past and present from the #1 bestselling author of Running with Scissors, Dry, and A Wolf at the Table

At eight years old, Augusten Burroughs profoundly misunderstood the meaning of Christmas. Now proving himself once more "a master of making tragedy funny" (The Miami Herald), he shows how the holidays can bring out the worst in us and sometimes, just sometimes, the very best. From the author described in USA Today as "one of the most compelling and screamingly funny voices of the new century" comes a book about surviving the holiday we love to hate, and hate to love.

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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER about Christmases past and present from the #1 bestselling author of Running with Scissors, Dry, and A Wolf at the TableAt eight years old, Augusten Burroughs profoundly misunderstood the meaning of Christmas. Now proving himself once more "a master of making tragedy funny" (The Miami Herald), he shows how t...

Augusten Burroughs is the author of Running with Scissors, Dry, Magical Thinking: True Stories, Possible Side Effects, and A Wolf at the Table. He is also the author of the novel Sellevision, which is currently in development for film. The film version of Running with Scissors, directed by Ryan Murphy and produced by Brad Pitt, was re...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 7.15 × 4.57 × 0.61 inPublished:September 28, 2010Publisher:PicadorLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:031243006X

ISBN - 13:9780312430061

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Customer Reviews of You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas

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It’s not that I was an outright nitwit of a child. It’s that the things even a nitwit could do with little or no instruction often confused me. Simple, everyday sorts of things tripped me up. Stacking metal chairs, for example. Everybody in class just seemed to know exactly how to fold the seat up into the back and then nest them all together like Prin­gles potato chips. I sat on the floor for ten minutes with one of the things as if somebody had told me to just stare at it. Concentrate hard, Augusten, try and turn it into an eggplant with your mind. You can do it! The other children appeared to be born with some sort of innate knowledge, as though the action of fold­ing and stacking child-size metal school chairs was gene tically encoded within each of them, like finger­nails or a sigmoid colon. I seemed to lack the ability to comprehend the obvi­ous. From the very beginning there had been warning signs.Like every kid just starting school, I had to memo­rize the Pledge of Allegiance—something that would in many towns today be considered prayer and therefore forbidden; akin to forcing a child to drink the blood of a sacrificial goat or unfurl a Tabriz prayer rug and kneel barefoot on it while facing Mecca. While I managed to learn the words, memorizing isn’t the same as understanding. And of course I was never tested on the meaning of the pledge. It must have sim­ply been taken for granted that even the dimmest child would easily grasp the meaning of a phrase such as I pledge allegiance, especially when that phrase was spoken while standing at strict attention and facing the Ameri­can flag, hand in a salute above the heart. There was so little room for misinterpretation. It was the Pledge of Allegiance, not Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Still. If one of the teachers had asked me to explain the meaning of those words—which I chanted parrot- minded and smiling each morning—they certainly would have been shocked to hear me admit that while I didn’t know exactly what it was about, I knew it had something to do with Pledge, the same furniture polish my mother used and that always, inexplicably, made me feel sunny. So each morning as I spoke those hallowed words, it was the bright yellow can with the glowing lem­ony scent that I pictured.  Excerpted from You Better Not Cry by Augusten Burroughs.Copyright © 2009 by Island Road, LLC.Published in November 2009 by St. Martin's Press.All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproductionis strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner ormedium must be secured from the Publisher.

Editorial Reviews

"In his trademark wit and self-deprecating humor . . . Burroughs compiles his favorite Christmas memories. From gnawing the face off of a life-size wax Santa to waking up beside a naked real-life Saint Nick at the Waldorf Astoria, Burroughs spares no details describing why Christmas has always been his favorite holiday." -Vanity Fair"For those who like their holiday spirit with gallons of vodka and a heaping portion of irreverence, You Better Not Cry is at times a laugh-out-loud read. . . . Burroughs is as frank and revealing as ever. . . . Fans won't be disappointed." -San Francisco Chronicle"Burroughs succeeds best at evoking true holiday spirit, reminding us that whatever's left after the bulbs stop twinkling, the cookies are all eaten, and the trees lose their tinsel is what's most important." -Elle"Terribly funny, in his tragically honest style . . . You may not cry, but you'll definitely laugh." -The Miami Herald