Truman Capote by George Plimpton
In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career

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Synopsis

He was the most social of writers, and at the height of his career he was the point where the glamorous worlds of the arts, society, and politics all met--a status perhaps best exemplified by his still-legendary Black and White Ball.  Truman Capote truly knew everyone, and now the people who knew him best tell his remarkable story to bestselling author and literary lion George Plimpton.

Using oral biography, a technique that perfectly matches the style of his subject, George Plimpton blends the voices of Capote's lovers, haters, acquaintances, and colleagues into a captivating and highly readable narrative.  Here we are present for the entire span of Capote's life: his Southern childhood and his early days in New York; his first literary success with the publication of Other Voices, Other Rooms; his highly active love life; the groundbreaking excitement of In Cold Blood, the first "nonfiction novel"; his years as a jet-setter; and his final days of flagging inspiration, alcoholism, and isolation.  All his famous friends and enemies are here: Katherine Graham, Lauren Bacall, Gore Vidal, Joan Didion, William Styron, Kurt Vonnegut, Norman Mailer, Lee Radziwill, John Huston, John Knowles, William F. Buckley, Jr., and dozens of others.

Full of wonderful stories, startlingly intimate, and altogether fascinating, this is the most entertaining account of Truman Capote's life yet, as only the incomparable George Plimpton could write it.
 

About George Plimpton

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George Plimpton, the originator of "participatory journalism," is the editor of The Paris Review.  His books include Paper Lion, Out of My League, The Bogey Man, Open Net, The Curious Case of Sidd Finch, and, most recently, The X Factor.  He lives in New York City.
 
Published December 1, 1997 by Nan A. Talese / Doubleday. 498 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics, History, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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but he also gives space to smaller voices, including the strangely fond account by O'Shea's daughter Kerry (rechristened Kate Harrington by Capote for her teenage modeling career) of the avuncular Pygmalion figure in her life.

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The Guardian

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One of them (which Truman does not mention) contained Smith's mother's favourite furniture - old beaded lampshades, rocking chairs - indeed, a room whose decor must have given Truman pause to explain to his friends on his tours.

Nov 09 2002 | Read Full Review of Truman Capote: In Which Vario...

Publishers Weekly

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Although Capote's inner life and motivations remain elusive here, Plimpton's masterful interviews, interspersed with a spectacular gallery of photos, achieve what even Gerald Clarke's definitive biography of Capote did not: a technicolor portrait of Capote's personae against a social backdrop tha...

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People

George Plimpton (assisted by half a dozen interviewers) effectively traces Capote's trajectory from brilliant, sylphlike, endearing young artist to self-important, back-biting, pill-popping old bore.

Jan 19 1998 | Read Full Review of Truman Capote: In Which Vario...

The Paris Review

“But new evidence undermines Mr. Capote’s claim that his best seller was an ‘immaculately factual’ recounting of the bloody slaughter of the Clutter family in their Kansas farmhouse.” Cold blood, indeed!

Dec 07 2012 | Read Full Review of Truman Capote: In Which Vario...

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