Gift of the Magi

O. Henry, Crowd-pleasing Short Story Humorist of Greenboro

Greensboro may be best known for making history during the Civil Rights Movement, when African-Americans had the first “sit-in” of that time at a lunch counter that would only serve white people. Now that counter is on exhibit at the Smithsonian as a reminder of courage. It may be hard for some to imagine refusing to serve people because of the color of their skin, but people today still remember when news of the Greensboro sit-in was breaking and some fear that this practice has not entirely disappeared.

Go back farther in history to learn about Greenboro’s ties to O. Henry (1862-1910). In Greensboro, with a current population of approximately 290,000, visit the upscale O. Henry Hotel, which stands on the same land as the writer’s former home at 624 Green Valley Road (he was born in Greensboro and moved to Texas at the age of 20). Then go to the O. Henry page in Texas to read more about the life of this famous writer of short stories. There is even a little known fact about him in our New Mexico section.

According to its ohenryhotel.com: “Let elegance and tranquility restore your spirit. We invite you to stay with us at our passionately run hotel in Greensboro, North Carolina. Discover gracious hospitality, attentive service and modern features including inviting guestrooms with custom furnishings and original art in every corner of our luxury hotel.”

Read more about O. Henry here: https://www.biography.com/writer/william-sydney-porter.

“Life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.” — O. Henry

His Popular Story

One of the most popular O. Henry stories is The Gift of the Magi. Read it here: http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/GifMag.shtml. Its irony and clever structure has made it an example mimicked by many short story writers long after is was published.

This is the fourth stop on our North Carolina Author Adventures Trail!

Patricia Smart