Hank Stuever

Monday, November 23, 2009 - 7:00pm
Brazos Bookstore
2421 Bissonnet St
77005-1451 Houston


In Tinsel: A Search for America's Christmas Present, Hank Stuever turns his unerring eye for the idiosyncrasies of modern life to Frisco, Texas, a suburb at once all-American and completely itself, to tell the story of the nation’s most over-the-top celebration: Christmas.  Stuever starts the narrative as so many start the Christmas season: standing in line with the people waiting to purchase flat-screen TVs on Black Friday. From there he follows three of Frisco's true holiday believers as they navigate through the Nativity and all its attendant crises. Tammie Parnell, an eternally optimistic suburban mom, is the proprietor of "Two Elves with a Twist," a company that decorates other people's big houses for Christmas. Jeff and Bridgette Trykoski own that house every town has: the one with the visible-from-space, most awe-inspiring Christmas lights. And single mother Caroll Cavazos just hopes that the life-affirming moments of Christmas might overcome the struggles of the rest of the year. Stuever's portraits of this happy, megachurchy, shopariffic community are at once humane, heartfelt, revealing – and very funny.  

Tinsel is a compelling tale of our half-trillion-dollar holiday, measuring what we we've become against the ancient rituals of what we've always been.

Hank Stuever is an award-winning pop culture writer for The Washington Post's Style section. He is the author of Off Ramp, an essay collection, and has appeared on Today, The View, the CBS Early Show and National Public Radio. Visit his website at hankstuever.com.


Tinsel: A Search for America's Christmas Present Cover Image
ISBN: 9780547134659
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - November 1st, 2009

Off Ramp: Adventures and Heartache in the American Elsewhere Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312424886
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Picador - July 1st, 2005