Portraits and Observations The Essays of Truman Capote

ISBN-10: 0812978919
ISBN-13: 9780812978919
Edition: N/A
Authors: Truman Capote
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Description: Perhaps no twentieth century writer was so observant and elegant a chronicler of his times as Truman Capote. Whether he was profiling the rich and famous or creating indelible word-pictures of events and places near and far, Capote7;s eye for detail  More...

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Book details

List price: $18.00
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/11/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 528
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.25" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 0.836
Language: English

Perhaps no twentieth century writer was so observant and elegant a chronicler of his times as Truman Capote. Whether he was profiling the rich and famous or creating indelible word-pictures of events and places near and far, Capote7;s eye for detail and dazzling style made his reportage and commentary undeniable triumphs of the form. Portraits and Observationsis the first volume devoted solely to all the essays ever published by this most beloved of writers. From his travel sketches of Brooklyn, New Orleans, and Hollywood, written when he was twenty-two, to meditations about fame, fortune, and the writer7;s art at the peak of his career, to the brief works penned during the isolated denouement of his life, these essays provide an essential window into mid-twentieth-century America as offered by one of its canniest observers. Included are such celebrated masterpieces of narrative nonfiction as 0;The Muses Are Heard1; and the short nonfiction novel 0;Handcarved Coffins,1; as well as many long-out-of-print essays, including portraits of Isak Dinesen, Mae West, Marcel Duchamp, Humphrey Bogart, and Marilyn Monroe. Among the highlights are 0;Ghosts in Sunlight: The Filming of In Cold Blood, 0;Preface to Music for Chameleons, in which Capote candidly recounts the highs and lows of his long career, and a playful self-portrait in the form of an imaginary self-interview. The book concludes with the author7;s last written words, composed the day before his death in 1984, the recently discovered 0;Remembering Willa Cather,1; Capote7;s touching recollection of his encounter with the author when he was a young man at the dawn of his career. Portraits and Observationsputs on display the full spectrum of Truman Capote7;s brilliance. Certainly, Capote was, as Somerset Maugham famously called him, 0;a stylist of the first quality.1; But as the pieces gathered here remind us, he was also an artist of remarkable substance. From the Hardcover edition.

Truman Capote, 1924 - 1984 Novelist and playwright Truman Streckfus Person was born in 1924 in New Orleans to a salesman and a 16-year-old beauty queen. His parents divorced when he was four years old and was then raised by relatives for a few years in Monroeville. His mother was remarried to a successful businessman, moved to New York, and Truman adopted his stepfather's surname. He attended Greenwich High School and never went to college. When he was 17, Capote's formal education ended when he was employed at The New Yorker magazine. He belived he did not need to go to college to be a writer, since he was writing seriously since age 11. Capote's first novel was "Other Voices, Other Rooms" (1948), which told the story of a boy growing up in the Deep South. "The Grass Harp" (1951) is about a young boy and his elderly cousin discovering that some compromise is necessary for people to live together in a community and was adapted to screen in 1996. The play "The House of Flowers" (1954) is a musical set in a West Indies bordello. Capote then wrote, "Breakfast at Tiffanys" (1958), which tells the story of how Holly Golightly goes to New York seeking happiness. Capote became preoccupied with journalism and, sparked by the murder of a wealthy family in Holcomb, Kansas, began interviewing the locals to recreate the lives of the murderers and their victims. The research and writing for this novel, "In Cold Blood" (1966), took six years for him to complete. Other works of Capote's include the classic "A Christmas Memory" (1966), which is an autobiographical account of a seven-year-old boy, his cousin, and an eccentric old lady, "Music for Chameleons" (1981), which is a collection of short pieces, interviews, stories and conversations that were published in several magazines, and "One Christmas" (1982). On August 26, 1984 in Los Angeles, Truman Capote died of liver disease complicated by phlebitis and multiple drug intoxication. Published after his death were "Conversations With Capote" (1985) and "Answered Prayers: The Untitled Novel" (1986).

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