Thinking about books that have been made into movies reminded me of the 1961 movie classic, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard. Although I’ve seen the movie many times, I’ve never read the 1950 novella, which was written by Truman Capote.
Last night, I spent the evening reading about Truman Capote and watching an A&E Biography about him. Then I watched a bunch of Capote interviews on YouTube with David Frost, Dick Cavett, and William F. Buckley.
Truman Capote (1924-1984) was an American author of fiction and non-fiction, including novels, short stories and plays. He loved being the center of attention and was also a well-known figure on the New York social scene. His first novel, Other Places, Other Rooms, was published in 1948 and is the story of a thirteen-year-old boy who, like Capote, confronts and embraces his homosexuality. Although Capote’s fiction had gained great attention, it was In Cold Blood, a work he called his “non-fiction novel” (1966) which launched him into his greatest fame. In Cold Blood, which was also made into a movie in 1967 and stars Robert Blake and Scott Wilson, became an immediate best-seller and one of the most profitable books in publishing history. Capote spent five years researching the 1959 murder of a family in a small town in Western Kansas. Capote was great childhood friends with Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird and she helped him with his research for In Cold Blood. His research included extensive interviews with the convicted killers and Capote developed an intense relationship with one of the men before they were executed. In Cold Blood was his last published book while Capote was alive.
In 1966, Capote threw a lavish party for his New York friends, called the “Black and White Ball” in the Grand Ballroom of the New York Plaza. It was the most talked-about event for years to follow. He continued to work on his tell-all novel, Answered Prayers, published posthumously. But Capote’s social downfall came after Esquire Magazine published a chapter excerpt from this book (“La Côte Basque 1965”), said to reveal intimate secrets of many of his real female friends.
Capote spent the rest of his years partying and celebrating his fame on the interview circuit. He was a regular at New York’s Studio 54. He struggled with drug and alcohol abuse and died just short of his sixtieth birthday.
Capote had a style all his own and was very sharp and witty and, before his social downfall, was well-loved among socialites. I think his interviews are fascinating, very funny and a little bit sad.
Now I’m ready to start reading Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Thanks for visiting – come back soon!
Many thanks to Google Images, YouTube, Biography.com and Wikipedia!
Truman Garcia Capote. (2014). The Biography.com website. Retrieved 06:59, Sep 24, 2014, from http://www.biography.com/people/truman-capote-9237547.
Picture of Truman Capote: http://sunpeople77im.com/truman-capote.html