Music for Chameleons (1980) is a collection by American author Truman Capote that includes both fiction and nonfiction. Capote's first offering of new material in 14 years, Music for Chamelons spent an unheard of (for a collection of short nonfiction) 16 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.
The book is divided into three sections. Part one, headed "Music for Chameleons," includes the title piece and five other stories ("Mr. Jones," "A Lamp in a Window," "Mojave," "Hospitality," "Dazzle"). The core of the book is Handcarved Coffins, a supposedly "nonfiction account of an American crime" that brings to mind certain parallels with his best-known work, the difference being that Capote did not include himself in the narrative as a character when he wrote In Cold Blood. Some readers might question the article's validity if they take note of the conspicuous error when Capote examines the photo of a woman which has birth/death dates (1939-1975) written on the back. In an earlier paragraph, he gave her age as 44.
In the third section, "Conversational Portraits," Capote recalls his encounters with Pearl Bailey, Bobby Beausoleil, Willa Cather, Marilyn Monroe and others. These seven essays are titled "A Day's Work," "Hello, Stranger," "Hidden Gardens," "Derring-do," "Then It All Came Down," "A Beautiful Child" and "Nocturnal Turnings." Noting yet another discrepancy, some have observed that Capote's Moscow meeting with Lee Harvey Oswald could not have happened since the two were in the city in different time frames.