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Truman Capote - book author

Truman Capote was an American writer whose non-fiction, stories, novels and plays are recognised literary classics, including the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958) and In Cold Blood (1965), which he labeled a "non-fiction novel." At least 20 films and TV dramas have been produced from Capote novels, stories and screenplays.

He was born as Truman Streckfus Persons to a salesman Archulus Persons and young Lillie Mae. His parents divorced when he was four and he went to live with his mother's relatives in Monroeville, Alabama. He was a lonely child who learned to read and write by himself before entering school. In 1933, he moved to New York City to live with his mother and her new husband, Joseph Capote, a Cuban-born businessman. Mr. Capote adopted Truman, legally changing his last name to Capote and enrolling him in private school. After graduating from high school in 1942, Truman Capote began his regular job as a copy boy at The New Yorker. During this time, he also began his career as a writer, publishing many short stories which introduced him into a circle of literary critics. His first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms, published in 1948, stayed on The New York Times bestseller list for nine weeks and became controversial because of the photograph of Capote used to promote the novel, posing seductively and gazing into the camera.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Capote remained prolific producing both fiction and non-fiction. His masterpiece, In Cold Blood, a story about the murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas, was published in 1966 in book form by Random House, became a worldwide success and brought Capote much praise from the literary community. After this success he published rarely and suffered from alcohol addiction. He died in 1984 at age 59.

Truman Capote is the author of books: In Cold Blood, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Other Voices, Other Rooms, A Christmas Memory, Music for Chameleons, The Grass Harp, Including A Tree of Night and Other Stories, Summer Crossing, The Complete Stories of Truman Capote, Answered Prayers: The Unfinished Novel, A Christmas Memory, One Christmas, & The Thanksgiving Visitor

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01
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 clues.

As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. At the center of his study are the amoral young killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock, who, vividly drawn by Capote, are shown to be reprehensible yet entirely and frighteningly human. In Cold Blood is a seminal work of modern prose, a remarkable synthesis of journalistic skill and powerfully evocative narrative.
02
It's New York in the 1940s, where the martinis flow from cocktail hour till breakfast at Tiffany's. And nice girls don't, except, of course, Holly Golightly. Pursued by Mafia gangsters and playboy millionaires, Holly is a fragile eyeful of tawny hair and turned-up nose, a heart-breaker, a perplexer, a traveller, a tease. She is irrepressibly 'top banana in the shock department', and one of the shining flowers of American fiction.

This edition also contains three stories: 'House of Flowers', 'A Diamond Guitar' and 'A Christmas Memory'.
03
Published when Truman Capote was only twenty-three years old, Other Voices, Other Rooms is a literary touchstone of the mid-twentieth century. In this semiautobiographical coming-of-age novel, thirteen-year-old Joel Knox, after losing his mother, is sent from New Orleans to live with the father who abandoned him at birth. But when Joel arrives at Skully’s Landing, the decaying mansion in rural Alabama, his father is nowhere to be found. Instead, Joel meets his morose stepmother, Amy, eccentric cousin Randolph, and a defiant little girl named Idabel, who soon offers Joel the love and approval he seeks.

Fueled by a world-weariness that belied Capote’s tender age, this novel tempers its themes of waylaid hopes and lost innocence with an appreciation for small pleasures and the colorful language of its time and place.

This new edition, featuring an enlightening Introduction by John Berendt, offers readers a fresh look at Capote’s emerging brilliance as a writer of protean power and effortless grace.


From the Hardcover edition.
04
First published in 1956, this much sought-after autobiographical recollection of Truman Capote's rural Alabama boyhood has become a modern-day classic. We are proud to be reprinting this warm and delicately illustrated edition of A Christmas Memory--"a tiny gem of a holiday story" (School Library Journal, starred review). Seven-year-old Buddy inaugurates the Christmas season by crying out to his cousin, Miss Sook Falk: "It's fruitcake weather!" Thus begins an unforgettable portrait of an odd but enduring friendship between two innocent souls--one young and one old--and the memories they share of beloved holiday rituals.
05
At the centre of Music for Chameleons is Handcarved Coffins, a ‘nonfiction novel’ based on the brutal crimes of a real-life murderer.Taking place in a small Midwestern town in America, it offers chilling insights into the mind of a killer and the obsession of the man bringing him to justice. Also in this volume are six short stories and seven ‘conversational portraits’ including a touching one of Marilyn Monroe, the ‘beautiful child’ and a hilarious one of a dope-smoking cleaning lady doing her rounds in New York.
06
Set on the outskirts of a small Southern town, The Grass Harp tells the story of three endearing misfits--an orphaned boy and two whimsical old ladies--who one day take up residence in a tree house. AS they pass sweet yet hazardous hours in a china tree, The Grass Harp manages to convey all the pleasures and responsibilities of freedom. But most of all it teaches us about the sacredness of love, "that love is a chain of love, as nature is a chain of life."

This volume also includes Capote's A Tree of Night and Other Stories, which the Washington Post called "unobstrusively beautiful...a superlative book."
07
A lost treasure only recently found, Truman Capote's Summer Crossing is a precocious, confident first novel from one of the twentieth century's greatest writers.

Set in New York just after World War II, the story follows a young carefree socialite, Grady McNeil, whose parents leave her alone in their Fifth Avenue penthouse for the summer. Left to her own devices, Grady turns up the heat on the secret affair she's been having with a Brooklyn-born Jewish war veteran who works as a parking lot attendant. As the season passes, the romance turns more serious and morally ambiguous, and Grady must eventually make a series of decisions that will forever affect her life and the lives of everyone around her.
08
A landmark collection that brings together Truman Capote’s life’s work in the form he called his “great love,” The Complete Stories confirms Capote’s status as a master of the short story.
Ranging from the gothic South to the chic East Coast, from rural children to aging urban sophisticates, all the unforgettable places and people of Capote’s oeuvre are here, in stories as elegant as they are heartfelt, as haunting as they are compassionate. Reading them reminds us of the miraculous gifts of a beloved American original.
09
Although Truman Capote's last novel was unfinished at the time of his death, its surviving portions offer a devastating group portrait of the high and low society of his time.

As it follows the career of a writer of uncertain parentage and omnivorous erotic tastes, Answered Prayers careens from a louche bar in Tangiers to a banquette at La Côte Basque, from literary salons to high-priced whorehouses. It takes in calculating beauties and sadistic husbands along with such real-life supporting characters as Colette, the Duchess of Windsor, Montgomery Clift, and Tallulah Bankhead. Above all, this malevolently funny book displays Capote at his most relentlessly observant and murderously witty.
10
Taking its place next to Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood on the Modern Library bookshelf is this new and original edition of Capote's most famous short stories: "A Christmas Memory, " "One Christmas, " and "The Thanksgiving Visitor." All three stories are distinguished by Capote's delicate interplay of childhood sensibility and recollective vision.