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altANITA SHREVE: BIOGRAPHY

Anita Shreve grew up in Dedham, Massachusetts (just outside Boston), the eldest of three daughters. Early literary influences include having read Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton when she was a junior in high school (a short novel she still claims as one of her favorites) and everything Eugene O'Neill ever wrote while she was a senior (to which she attributes a somewhat dark streak in her own work). After graduating from Tufts University, she taught high school for a number of years in and around Boston. In the middle of her last year, she quit (something that, as a parent, she finds appalling now) to start writing. "I had this panicky sensation that it was now or never."

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Four Stars for "Four Christmases"

"Four Christmases may not be a holiday staple like "It's a Wonderful Life" or "A Christmas Story," but the film has the right mix of yuletide warmth and family dysfunction to make it amusing.

Starring Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn as a co-habitating couple named Kate and Brad who would rather take a beach vacation than share Christmas with their families, "Four Christmases" doesn't preach to you nor does it rely on crass jokes and slapstick to get its laughs

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