Too Brief A Treat

Too Brief A Treat

The Letters of Truman Capote

by Truman Capote and Gerald Clarke

Hardback Publication Date: 15/12/2004

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Truman Capote was hailed as one the most meticulous writers in American letters-a part of the Capote mystique is that his precise writing seemed to exist apart from his chaotic life. While the measure of Capote as a writer is best taken through his work, Capote the person is best understood in his personal correspondence with friends, colleagues, lovers, and rivals. In Too Brief a Treat, the acclaimed biographer Gerald Clarke brings together for the first time the private letters of Truman Capote. Encompassing more than four decades, these letters reveal the inner life of one of the twentieth century's most intriguing personalities. As Clarke notes in his Introduction, Capote was an inveterate letter writer who both loved and craved love without inhibition. He wrote letters as he spoke: emphatically, spontaneously, and without reservation. He also wrote them at a breakneck pace, unconcerned with posterity. Thus, in this volume we have perhaps the closest thing possible to an elusive treasure: a Capote autobiography.

Through his letters to the likes of William Styron, Gloria Vanderbilt, his publishers and editors, his longtime companion and lover Jack Dunphy, and others, we see Capote in all his life's phases-the uncannily self-possessed na-f who jumped headlong into the dynamic post--World War Two New York literary scene and the more mature, established Capote of the 1950s. Then there is the Capote of the early 1960s, immersed in the research and writing of his masterpiece, In Cold Blood. Capote's correspondence with Kansas detective Alvin Dewey, and with Perry Smith, one of the killers profiled in that work, demonstrates Capote's intense devotion to his craft, while his letters to friends like Cecil Beaton show Capote giddy with his emergence as a flamboyant mass media celebrity after that book's publication. Finally, we see Capote later in his life, as things seemed to be unraveling: when he is disillusioned, isolated by his substance abuse and by personal rivalries. (Ever effusive with praise and affection, Capote could nevertheless carry a grudge like few others).
Too Brief a Treat is that uncommon book that gives us a literary titan's unvarnished thoughts. It is both Gerald Clarke's labor of love and a surpassing work of literary history.
ISBN:
9780375501333
9780375501333
Category:
Literary studies: general
Format:
Hardback
Publication Date:
15-12-2004
Language:
English
Publisher:
Random House USA Inc
Country of origin:
United States
Pages:
487
Dimensions (mm):
250x168x38mm
Weight:
0.83kg
Truman Capote

Truman Capote was born in New Orleans in 1924 and was raised in various parts of the south, his family spending winters in New Orleans and summers in Alabama and New Georgia.

By the age of fourteen he had already started writing short stories, some of which were published. He left school when he was fifteen and subsequently worked for the New Yorker which provided his first - and last - regular job.

Following his spell with the New Yorker, Capote spent two years on a Louisiana farm where he wrote Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948). He lived, at one time or another, in Greece, Italy, Africa and the West Indies, and travelled in Russia and the Orient.

He is the author of many highly praised books, including A Tree of Night and Other Stories (1949), The Grass Harp (1951), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958), In Cold Blood (1965), which immediately became the centre of a storm of controversy on its publication, Music for Chameleons (1980) and Answered Prayers (1986), all of which are published by Penguin. Truman Capote died in August 1984.

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