The University of Wisconsin Press

Fiction / Wisconsin


Christmas Stones & The Story Chair
Justin Isherwood

The custom of my family is to tell stories at Christmas. Specifically, stone stories. Tales whose nativity and metaphor, narrative and scene, are rooted in what appears to the casual observer unremarkable stones. Every year we gathered . . . to hear the stones.
—excerpt from Christmas Stones & The Story Chair

History is retold through the gift of story at Christmastime in award-winning writer Justin Isherwood’s Christmas Stones & The Story Chair, when he places the farm’s great aunts and uncles upon the hard seat of the story chair and they tell their homespun tales to the next generation.

“In my family it was this chair that raised us up and made stories of us, despite we were no else but farm folk. When set in our midst, the noise of us ceased, children unaccountably grew quiet, menfolk hushed their politics. Wars, if there were some, went off so far in the distance as to momentarily cease. In the presence of this chair it seemed all creation slowed and drew near with us. The cows listened, the trees crept close crowded with expectant birds, the children folded their knees beneath their chins—all waiting to hear. Jupiter was seen eavesdropping at the window. . . . Every Christmas it was so. The story chair was brought forth, set in the center of the parlor and the stories began.”—excerpt from Christmas Stones & The Story Chair

Table of Contents:
The Story Chair
This My Children
Three Ravens
Two Grey Stones
Adah’s Turn
The Eye of the Wolf
A Christmas of Faith
King Chickenlegs
Tamus O’Toole
Tatie Tree
Chunk of Gravel
Adah’s Last Christmas
They Once Were Boys
A Lesson in Beasts
There Appeared a Host, Singing

Justin Isherwood is a fifth generation farmer and author of Book of Plough, The Farm West of Mars, and Farm Kid: Tales of Growing Up in Rural America. His award-winning writing style and wry observations have appeared in numerous national and regional publications. He lives in Plover, Wisconsin.

Distributed for Home Brew Press

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the cover of Christmas Stones is a golden hued photo of the Story Chair.

December 2007

204 pp.  5 x 8

Book icon
Paper $16.00 t
ISBN 978-1-891609-04-6
Book icon Cloth $26.00 t
ISBN 978-1-891609-07-7
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