Strike the Harp! Happy endings are hard-earned in Owen Parry's "American Christmas Stories," and gifts don't come in tidily wrapped packages. If you're really lucky, you'll be rewarded… Strike the Harp! Happy endings are hard-earned in Owen Parry's "American Christmas Stories," and gifts don't come in tidily wrapped packages. If you're really lucky, you'll be rewarded… 2004-11-01 Fiction William Morrow
Book Review

Strike The Harp! (2004)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Nov 01, 2004; Writer: Owen Parry; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: William Morrow

Happy endings are hard-earned in Owen Parry's ''American Christmas Stories,'' and gifts don't come in tidily wrapped packages. If you're really lucky, you'll be rewarded with a lump of coal. That's what one secret Santa (a bighearted, small-town Pennsylvania cop) delivers to freezing, out-of-work miners in the 1887-set ''Coal & Iron.'' In ''The Christmas Joe,'' a Depression era waitress gets a baby — and the Virgin Mary she ain't. Parry has an almost Dickensian eye for detail, and a light hand with religious themes. Also in Strike the Harp!, irreverently playful poems — tweaking the three kings, holiday shopping, and more — punctuate each short story.

Originally posted Dec 01, 1979 Published in issue #796 Dec 10, 2004 Order article reprints