I have been teaching Charles Dickens to students for over forty years, but I still remember my first encounter with his work in a seminar during my senior year in college. I was fascinated by his uncanny ability to manage huge casts of characters and still tell a compelling story. I went on to write a master’s thesis and a doctoral thesis on Dickens, and even though my research centers on Dickens as a social critic, the extraordinary narrative complexity of his work has never ceased to amaze me.
Most people today first experience Dickens through his hugely popular holiday story, A Christmas Carol. I, too, have a fondness for this classic tale of redemption. Recently I sat down with the NYU Stories team to consider what makes A Christmas Carol so timeless; read our interview to learn more.