In Tinsel, Hank Stuever searches out the most outlandish cultural excesses as well as the secret beauties of modern America’s half-trillion-dollar Christmas holiday.
When Stuever’s narrative begins, he’s standing in line with the people waiting to purchase flat-screen TVs at Best Buy on Black Friday. From there he follows Tammy Parnell, the proprietor of “Two Elves with a Twist,” a company that decorates other people’s houses for Christmas; Jeff and Bridgett Trykoski, owners of that one house every town has with Christmas decorations visible from space; and single mother Caroll Cavazos, who hopes that the life-affirming moments of Christmas might overcome the struggles of the rest of the year. Steuver’s portraits are at once humane, heartfelt, revealing—and very, very funny.
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