The Critical Response to Truman Capote

The Critical Response to Truman Capote

The Critical Response to Truman Capote

The Critical Response to Truman Capote


One of the most controversial American authors of the twentieth century, Truman Capote is best known as the author of In Cold Blood (1966), a work of literary journalism that recounts the slaughter of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas, in 1959. But he also wrote numerous short stories, dozens of nonfiction pieces for popular magazines, several other novels, and some works for Hollywood and Broadway. Since his death in 1984, scholarly interest in his writings has grown considerably. This volume traces the critical reception of his works. Included are previously published reviews and essays, along with some pieces written specifically for this book. The volume is divided into several sections on broad topics. Each section is organized chronologically and traces both the development of Capote's talents and the evolution of critical attitudes toward his work. A comprehensive introduction charts the history of Capote's critical reception, and extensive bibliographic material records the present state of scholarship.


Critical Responses in Arts and Letters is designed to present a documentary history of highlights in the critical reception to the body of work of writers and artists and to individual works that are generally considered to be of major importance. The focus of each volume in this series is basically historical. The introductions to each volume are themselves brief histories of the critical response an author, artist, or individual work has received. This response is then further illustrated by reprinting a strong representation of the major critical reviews and articles that have collectively produced the author's, artist's, or work's critical reputation.

The scope of Critical Responses in Arts and Letters knows no chronological or geographical boundaries. Volumes under preparation include studies of individuals from around the world and in both contemporary and historical periods.

Each volume is the work of an individual editor, who surveys the entire body of criticism on a single author, artist, or work. The editor then selects the best material to depict the critical response received by an author or artist over his/her entire career. Documents produced by the author or artist may also be included when the editor finds that they are necessary to a full understanding of the materials at hand. In circumstances where previous isolated volumes of criticism on a particular individual or work exist, the editor carefully selects material that better reflects the nature and directions of the critical response over time.

In addition to the introduction and the documentary section, the editor of each volume is free to solicit new essays on areas that may not have been adequately dealt with in previous criticism. Also, for volumes on living writers and artists, new interviews may be included, again at the discretion of the volume's editor. The volumes also provide a supplementary bibliography and are fully indexed.

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