Fiction featuring Thanksgiving gatherings?
November 30, 2013 11:18 AM   Subscribe

What are some examples of works of fiction (e.g. novels, movies) that feature a Thanksgiving family gathering as a major plot element?

What are some examples of works of fiction (e.g. novels, movies) that feature a Thanksgiving family gathering as a major plot element?

I'm looking for works that use the setting of the Thanksgiving holiday as a canvas to explore family dynamics and relationships between family members -- conflicts, longstanding resentments, cultural differences, grief and loss, etc.

Two that I have in mind are Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections, and (from what I can tell as I have not read it), May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes.
posted by Asparagus to Media & Arts (21 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Pieces of April.
posted by lalex at 11:23 AM on November 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


"A Swiftly Tilting Planet" by Madeleine L'Engle. (Kinda helps to read the other two books in the trilogy to know what's going on.)
posted by Melismata at 11:24 AM on November 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh my goodness, I just realized that The Corrections actually features a Christmas dinner, not Thanksgiving!

Given that even the example I had in mind doesn't even fit the question, I'd like to broaden it a little: what are examples of fiction that feature a gathering a family members, either on a holiday or an occasion like a wedding or a funeral, to explore the themes above? If the example includes Thanksgiving, that's great; if not, that's fine too.

Thanks for the answers so far!
posted by Asparagus at 11:30 AM on November 30, 2013


Home for the Holidays.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:32 AM on November 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Seconding "home for the holidays". "Death at a funeral" also may work.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:34 AM on November 30, 2013


Maybe not the type of fiction you're looking for, but I believe every season of Gossip Girl had a major Thanksgiving episode that involved many major plot points. Thanksgiving is the title character's favorite holiday.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 11:56 AM on November 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hannah and Her Sisters
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Dutch (John Hughes really likes holidays.)
WaPo list of novels.
posted by Ideefixe at 11:56 AM on November 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here's a list of movies set around Thanksgiving.
posted by dfriedman at 11:57 AM on November 30, 2013


The Ice Storm
posted by scalespace at 12:03 PM on November 30, 2013


Good question! All I'm coming up with is Alice's Restaurant (which, while fictional, is really a song...) and Deborah Tannen's book Conversational Style (which dissects the discourse of six speakers over the course of a two-and-a-half hour Thanksgiving dinner conversation -- so it's fascinating, but not fiction!)
posted by lgandme0717 at 12:24 PM on November 30, 2013


Four weddings and a funeral.
posted by SyraCarol at 12:36 PM on November 30, 2013


Cranberry Thanksgiving, if you don't mind that it's a kids book.


> Alice's Restaurant (which, while fictional, is really a song...

It's also a movie, which is more serious than the song.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:51 PM on November 30, 2013


It's on the edge of what you wanted but the first part of The Royal Tenenbaums is about the family coming back together into the family home.
posted by ftm at 12:55 PM on November 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rachel Getting Married
posted by dchrssyr at 2:25 PM on November 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


The House of Yes is a favorite.
posted by Brittanie at 4:12 PM on November 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Susan Minot's Monkeys.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:16 PM on November 30, 2013


Friends did a Thanksgiving episode every year, and then there's the famous WKRP in Cincinnati flying turkeys episode, which was also Thanksgiving themed.
posted by backwards compatible at 6:46 PM on November 30, 2013


The movie, Stuck in Love, starts and ends with Thanksgiving dinner.
posted by kbar1 at 11:13 PM on November 30, 2013


The Myth of Fingerprints is a good one.
posted by steef at 9:09 AM on December 1, 2013


Although it is a movie exploring dynamics and relationships,and the film they're making eventually becomes "Home For Thanksgiving", Christopher Guest's For Your Consideration isn't much about family, nor is its action actually happening at Thanksgiving.
posted by Rash at 1:21 PM on December 1, 2013


Thank you for the suggestions everyone! Lots of great stuff, much of which is new to me. The movies Home for the Holidays and Stuck in Love look especially promising.
posted by Asparagus at 11:05 AM on December 2, 2013


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