Truman Capote

Truman Capote (käpō´tē), 1924–84, American author, b. New Orleans as Truman Streckfus Persons. During his lifetime, the witty, diminutive writer was a well-known public personage, hobnobbing with the rich and famous and frequently appearing in the popular media, before he lapsed into alcoholism in his final years. Capote's fiction reflects a private, imaginative world of narcissistic yet strangely innocent people. Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948), his first novel and a classic Southern Gothic, is the story of a young boy's painful search for identity. His other works include a gentle autobiographical novel, The Grass Harp (1951); a collection of short stories, Tree of Night (1949); the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958); a report of his trip to Russia with the cast of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess,The Muses Are Heard (1956); the musical House of Flowers (1954); and two collections of nonfiction pieces, The Dogs Bark (1973) and Music for Chameleons (1980). In 1966, Capote published his "nonfiction novel," In Cold Blood, a chilling account of the senseless, brutal murder of a Kansas family that is widely considered his finest work. Fragments of his last major book, the unfinished Unanswered Prayers, were collected in 1990. The Complete Stories of Truman Capote was published in 2004.

See N. T. Inge, ed., Truman Capote: Conversations (1987); L. Grobel, Conversations with Capote (1985, repr. 2000); G. Clarke, ed., Too Brief a Treat: The Letters of Truman Capote (2004); memoirs by D. Windham (1983), J. M. Brinnin (1986), and J. Dunphy (1987); biographies by G. Clarke (1988), G. Plimpton (1997), and W. T. Schultz (2011); studies by H. S. Garson (1980 and 1992), K. T. Reed (1981), J. J. and J. C. Waldmeir, ed. (1999), and H. Bloom, ed. (2003).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Truman Capote: Selected full-text books and articles

Understanding Truman Capote By Thomas Fahy University of South Carolina Press, 2014
The Critical Response to Truman Capote By Joseph J. Waldmeir; John C. Waldmeir Greenwood Press, 1999
Great American Writers: Twentieth Century By R. Baird Shuman Marshall Cavendish, vol.2, 2002
Capote Reconsidered By Allen, Brooke New Criterion, Vol. 23, No. 3, November 2004
Truman Capote's Contribution to the Documentary Novel: The Game-Theoretic Dilemmas of in Cold Blood By Wainwright, Michael Papers on Language & Literature, Vol. 50, No. 1, Winter 2014
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Capote and the Trillings: Homophobia and Literary Culture at Midcentury By Solomon, Jeff Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 54, No. 2, Summer 2008
Boundless Hearts in a Nightmare World: Queer Sentimentalism and Southern Gothicism in Truman Capote's Other Voices, Other Rooms By Pugh, William White Tison The Mississippi Quarterly, Vol. 51, No. 4, Fall 1998
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Sentenced to Death: The American Novel and Capital Punishment By David Guest University Press of Mississippi, 1997
Librarian's tip: Chap. Five "Truman Capote's In Cold Blood: The Novel as Prison"
The Modern American Novel of Violence By Patrick W. Shaw Whitston, 2000
Librarian's tip: "Truman Capote's In Cold Blood" begins on p. 85
A Sourcebook of American Literary Journalism: Representative Writers in an Emerging Genre By Thomas B. Connery Greenwood Press, 1992
Librarian's tip: "Truman Capote" begins on p. 239
The Columbia Companion to the Twentieth-Century American Short Story By Blanche H. Gelfant; Lawrence Graver Columbia University Press, 2000
Librarian's tip: "Truman Capote (1924-1984)" begins on p. 184
The Art of Southern Fiction: A Study of Some Modern Novelists By Frederick J. Hoffman Southern Illinois University Press, 1967
Librarian's tip: Discussion of Truman Capote begins on p. 118
The Kingdom beyond Caste By Liston Pope Friendship Press, 1957
Librarian's tip: "Truman Capote" begins on p. 235
New American Gothic By Irving Malin Southern Illinois University Press, 1962
Librarian's tip: Includes discussion of Truman Capote in multiple chapters
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