Truman Capote

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Truman Capote

Truman Capote was born Truman Streckfus Persons in New Orleans, Louisiana, to salesman Archulus "Arch" Persons and attractive 17-year-old Lillie Mae Faulk. When he was four, his parents divorced, and he was sent to Monroeville, Alabama, where he was raised by his mother's relatives. As a lonely child, Capote taught himself to read before he started going to school. He began writing at age eight and claimed to had written a book at the age of nine. When he was 11, he began writing seriously in daily three-hour sessions.

In 1933, he moved to New York City to live with his mother and her second husband, Joseph Capote, who adopted him and renamed him Truman García Capote in 1935. Capote attended the Trinity School. He later attended the Dwight School in New York, where an anual award on his name is established, and Greenwich High School in Greenwich, Connecticut, where he wrote for the school paper, The Green Witch.

When he was 17, Capote ended his formal education and began a two-year job at The New Yorker. Years later, he wrote, "Not a very grand job, for all it really involved was sorting cartoons and clipping newspapers. Still, I was fortunate to have it, especially since I was determined never to set a studious foot inside a college classroom. I felt that either one was or wasn't a writer, and no combination of professors could influence the outcome. I still think I was correct, at least in my own case."

In a 1957 interview with The Paris Review, when Capote was asked about his short-story technique, he responded:
"Since each story presents its own technical problems, obviously one can't generalize about them on a two-times-two-equals-four basis. Finding the right form for your story is simply to realize the most natural way of telling the story. The test of whether or not a writer has divined the natural shape of his story is just this: After reading it, can you imagine it differently, or does it silence your imagination and seem to you absolute and final? As an orange is final. As an orange is something nature has made just right."

The year of 1948 witnessed one of the most impeccable literary debuts in history – that of the 23 years-old New Orleans-born Truman Capote - “Other Voices, Other Rooms”. Ever since that naughty boy with an all-knowing gaze thrown right at the face of New York high-society has been a living legend – a brilliant writer, proclaimed by Somerset Maugham ‘the hope of modern literature”, a professional provocateur, an avid gossip manufacturer, a ‘midget’ with an echoing laughter according to Peggy Guggenheim, a mid-century Petronius dispersing the most caustic of all social verdicts. His "Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1958) is an icon novella and “In Cold Blood” (1965) is the first non-fiction novel. With his highly distinguished style, with his clever language and uncompromising attitude, Truman Capote is now a classic, a pivotal writer of the XXth century, who has indelibly changed American literature.

All Titles from Truman Capote

Truman Capote

In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood
On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no ...read more

Truman Capote

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Breakfast at Tiffany's
In this seductive, wistful masterpiece, Truman Capote created a woman whose name has entered the American idiom and whose style is a part of the literary landscape. Holly Golightly knows that nothing bad can ever happen to you at Tiffany's; her ...read more

Truman Capote

Portraits and Observations

Portraits and Observations
This volume of collected essays is both a long overdue and welcome addition to the Capote revival. It's arranged chronologically—from a short 1946 piece on New Orleans, written when Capote was 22, to a brief appreciation of Willa Cather he ...read more

Truman Capote

Other Voices, Other Rooms

Other Voices, Other Rooms
Other Voices, Other Rooms is a novel written in the Southern Gothic style by Truman Capote. It is published in January 1948. Other Voices, Other Rooms is significant because it is both Truman Capote's first published novel and ...read more

Truman Capote

A Tree of Night

A Tree of Night
The local colour and the melodrama of the south gothic, the urban tales of horror, the childhood memories, seen through the fiction; the provincial Christmas, the maze of New York – for the first time the short stories of the American classic ...read more

Truman Capote

Music for Chameleons

Music for Chameleons
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 ...read more

Truman Capote

Summer Crossing

Summer Crossing
Considered lost for over 50 years, this is the first novel by one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Set in New York during the summer of 1945, this is the story of a young carefree socialite, Grady, who must make serious ...read more

Truman Capote

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Breakfast at Tiffany's
Breakfast at Tiffany's: A Short Novel and Three Stories (1958) brought together tales of personal loss: "House of Flowers," "A Diamond Guitar" and "A Christmas Memory." A first edition of this book is valued at $3000. For Capote, Breakfast at ...read more

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