Praise for An Off-White Christmas
Lovingly illustrated by Chicago artist Hannah Jennings, Evan's 12 tales may not always be filled with cheer; but with light humor and tenderness, they do illuminate the human spirit.
—Jonathan Fullmer in Booklist
With offhand grace and humor, Evans captures the characters’ burning desires to escape from in-between stages of their lives and their disappointment at the outcome. Illustrations by Hannah Jennings throughout the book resemble ornaments that could hang on a Christmas tree.”
—Kate Burns in Newcity Lit
Through it all, Evans works as a quiet provocateur and a bit of a chameleon. In the voices of very different narrators, he explores how past baggage and internal conflicts can collide with the meaningful relationships everyone seeks with those who mean the most to us…. you’re in the hands of a writer with skill for description, setting, and dialogue…
—Dennis Hertzel in Windy City Reviews
The stories in Don Evans's excellent collection, An Off-White Christmas, are full of witty, humane moments, vivid characters and settings that range from Chicago to Syracuse to Las Vegas. The people you'll meet here are your friends, your neighbors, your relatives—in all their flawed beauty and pathos. This book is not to be missed.
—Christine Sneed, author of Little Known Facts and Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry
Don Evans can get the streets to talk as if they're telling their own stories. One hears in his work an immediately recognizable offhand tone that rings true, empathetic, street smart, and very funny.
—Stuart Dybek, author of A Neighborhood and Other Stories, The Coast of Chicago, I Sailed with Magellan, Streets in Their Own Ink, Paper Lanterns, and Ecstatic Cahoots
Donald Evans has a great ear and a light touch and together they lead An Off-White Christmas in unpredictable directions. Underlying what’s funny in these stories are real families, friends and lovers colliding or coming together in what promises, but doesn’t always turn out to be, the season of good cheer.
—Rosellen Brown, author of Street Games, Before and After, Half a Heart and others
A series of stories about families of all types as they each enter the holidays, the tales here range from the sentimental to the bleak, strongly reflecting Evans' natural love for our city's strong history of gritty social realism. My personally favorite story of the collection, for example, “Tiny Flakes of Bone,” is an ur-example of this, as two former school chums celebrate Christmas with a sybaritic gambling binge in Las Vegas, their hazy 48 straight hours at the casino slowly revealing the fractures that initially drove the two apart, and how one has been able in middle-age to shed himself of his addictive demons, the other lost in a permanent wallowing in them.
—Jason Pettus, reviewing in Goodreads
This Book Will Change Your Life… [T]hese stories are ostensibly about Christmas, and Evans build the stories around that framework, but holidays especially, are about emotions, all of them, and in all ways and combinations, and Evans knows this, and shows it.
—Ben Tanzer, This Blog Will Change Your Life