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Dordt College News

Schaap story in Christmas book

October 19, 2004

James Calvin Schaap, Sioux Center, is one of 22 authors whose story was selected for inclusion in a new book for the holidays, Christmas on the Great Plains, published by University of Iowa Press. Christmas on the Great Plains

A Dordt College Professor of English, Schaap is the author of numerous essays, stories, novels and collections of short stories. Recently published books include Touches the Sky, a historical novel concerning the Ghost Dance and Wounded Knee Massacre in South Dakota, and 55 and Counting, a collection of short stories.

Christmas on the Great Plains offers reminiscences from both the far and recent past, with poignant nostalgia from the best storytellers in the Midwest. The collection features both classic and contemporary regional authors, including famed notables Willa Cather and Hamlin Garland, as well as contemporary Great Plains writers like Jane Smiley, Linda Hasselstrom, Larry Woiwode, and Ted Kooser.

The stories unwrap like holiday packages, opening a variety of perspectives on winter’s holiday celebrations and traditions—from lutefisk and julebukking to sleighbells and twinkling lights—that will be appreciated by anyone who has spent a winter on the plains.

Prefacing the book, editors Dorothy and Kenneth Robbins say each story casts a facet on the overwhelming need to connect with others during the holiday season. “These authors suggest that despite human conflicts and severe weather, separations created by geographic, generational, or spiritual divides can be bridged this time of year.”

In Schaap’s “First Profession,” an encounter in the family barn casts a new light on the humble realities and the wondrous miracles surrounding the birth of Christ for a teenager and her father.

The book is available at the Dordt College Bookstore, as well as other retail book locations and through the publisher’s website, the University of Iowa Press

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