Matchless: A Christmas Story
Title: Matchless: A Christmas Story
Author: Gregory Maguire
Entwines the classic fairy tale of the little match girl with a story of Frederik, whose mother is seamstress to the queen and who spends many evenings crafting a village in the attic of their small, cold home.
When the story was first translated from Danish and published in England in the mid-nineteenth century, the Little Match Girl’s dying visions of lights and a grandmother in heaven were often interpreted as metaphors of religious salvation. In “Matchless”, Maguire adds a different dimension to the story, intertwining the match girl’s tale with that of a young boy, Frederik, whose own yearnings are the catalyst for a better future for himself and his family. Maguire uses his storytelling magic to rekindle Andersen’s original intentions, and to suggest transcendence, the permanence of spirit, and the continuity that links the living and the dead.