Truman Capote

Easton Press Truman Capote books

In Cold Blood - 2000

Franklin Library Truman Capote books

Other Voices, Other Rooms - signed limited edition - 1979 (signed by Truman Capote)
Breakfast at Tiffany's + 3 Stories - collected stories of the worlds greatest writers - 1983


Who was Truman Capote?

Truman Capote (1924-1984) was an American author, playwright, and literary icon, renowned for his contributions to the American literary scene, particularly his innovative approach to non-fiction and his pioneering work in the genre of literary journalism. Born Truman Streckfus Persons on September 30, 1924, in New Orleans, Louisiana, he faced a troubled childhood marked by his parents' separation and his mother's struggles with alcoholism. Capote's early passion for writing and storytelling emerged at an early age, and he began his literary pursuits in the short story genre. His career took a significant turn when he published his debut novel, "Other Voices, Other Rooms," in 1948. The novel, which explored themes of sexual identity and the search for self-identity, received both acclaim and controversy.

However, Capote is perhaps best known for his groundbreaking work in the realm of non-fiction, particularly with his true crime novel In Cold Blood (1966). This work tells the chilling story of the Clutter family murders in Holcomb, Kansas, and Capote's meticulous research and narrative techniques established a new standard for the genre. "In Cold Blood" is often considered a masterpiece of true crime literature, blending factual reporting with the narrative style of fiction. Capote's social circle included many prominent figures, and he became a fixture in high society. He was known for his flamboyant personality, distinctive voice, and keen observations of the world around him. His close friendships with influential figures like Harper Lee and his association with the literary elite of his time added to his public persona.

In addition to In Cold Blood, Capote penned several other notable works, including the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958), which was adapted into a successful film starring Audrey Hepburn. Capote's literary style was characterized by its precision, wit, and ability to capture the nuances of human behavior. Truman Capote struggled with substance abuse throughout his life, and his later years were marked by a decline in health. He passed away on August 25, 1984, at the age of 59, in Los Angeles, California. Despite his challenges, Capote's impact on American literature endures, and his innovative contributions to the fields of fiction and non-fiction continue to be celebrated and studied.


In Cold Blood

On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.

As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.

Controversial and compelling, In Cold Blood reconstructs the murder in 1959 of a Kansas farmer, his wife and both their children. Truman Capote's comprehensive study of the killings and subsequent investigation explores the circumstances surrounding this terrible crime and the effect it had on those involved. At the centre of his study are the amoral young killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock, who, vividly drawn by Capote, are shown to be reprehensible yet entirely and frighteningly human. The book that made Capote's name, In Cold Blood is a seminal work of modern prose, a remarkable synthesis of journalistic skill and powerfully evocative narrative.

Other Voices, Other Rooms

Truman Capote’s first novel is a story of almost supernatural intensity and inventiveness, an audacious foray into the mind of a sensitive boy as he seeks out the grown-up enigmas of love and death in the ghostly landscape of the deep South.
At the age of twelve, Joel Knox is summoned to meet the father who abandoned him at birth. But when Joel arrives at the decaying mansion in Skully’s Landing, his father is nowhere in sight. What he finds instead is a sullen stepmother who delights in killing birds; an uncle with the face and heart of a debauched child; and a fearsome little girl named Idabel who may offer him the closest thing he has ever known to love.

Published when Truman Capote was only twenty-three years old, Other Voices, Other Rooms is a literary touchstone of the mid-twentieth century. In this semiautobiographical coming-of-age novel, thirteen-year-old Joel Knox, after losing his mother, is sent from New Orleans to live with the father who abandoned him at birth. But when Joel arrives at Skully’s Landing, the decaying mansion in rural Alabama, his father is nowhere to be found. Instead, Joel meets his morose stepmother, Amy, eccentric cousin Randolph, and a defiant little girl named Idabel, who soon offers Joel the love and approval he seeks.

Fueled by a world-weariness that belied Capote’s tender age, this novel tempers its themes of waylaid hopes and lost innocence with an appreciation for small pleasures and the colorful language of its time and place.

Breakfast at Tiffany's and Three Stories

In this seductive, wistful masterpiece, Capote created a woman whose name has entered the American idiom and whose style is a part of the literary landscape her poignancy, wit, and naïveté continue to charm.

It's New York in the 1940s, where the martinis flow from cocktail hour till breakfast at Tiffany's... And nice girls don't, except, of course, Holly Golightly. Pursued by Mafia gangsters and playboy millionaires, Holly is a fragile eyeful of tawny hair and turned-up nose, a heart-breaker, a perplexer, a traveler, a tease. She is irrepressibly 'top banana in the shock department', and one of the shining flowers of American fiction.

Includes titles:

House of Flowers

Ottilie is entranced by a beautiful young man, and leaves her life and friends to live with him and his old grandmother, who seems to hate her.

A Diamond Guitar

Hear the story of the prized possession of a younger prison inmate, a rhinestone-studded guitar.

A Christmas Memory

A poignant tale of two innocents a small boy and the old woman who is his best friend whose sweetness contains a hard, sharp kernel of truth.


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