Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder
Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2005 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.
It's the time of year for people to sing the I-got-horrible-gifts waaaaanthem. I have no such complaints, but several years ago, when I graduated from high school, my parents' friends gave me various inappropriate presents, including two self-help books. One was a primer on emotional intelligence. The other: a copy of A Christmas Carol with a huge Dickens-dwarfing epilogue or prologue dictating how the reader could undergo a Scrooge-like transformation.
Jessa Crispin pointed me to an essay on the moral lessons of A Christmas Carol by Michel Faber, author of The Crimson Petal And The White, and I figure that his take on the tale is much better than the self-help gobbledygook would have been. I would be remiss if I did not also point you towards James Morrow's fictional response to Dickens in Bible Stories For Adults.