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Truman Capote

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.

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