Truman Capote once said, "The thing I like to do most in the whole world is talk ...," and talk he does in the more than two dozen interviews collected in this book. The topics are often gossip about the famous people Capote ran with, but always he provides revealing information about his writings--the authors who inspired him, his meticulous methods of research and composition, and his personal reverence for the craft of authorship. He was, as the editor notes, "fiercely devoted to his art, and keenly aware of his place in the world of letters."
While his detractors, such as Ernest Hemingway and Gore Vidal, spoke out long and loud against the feisty and media-minded writer from Louisiana, Capote here has the last word. What emerges is a portrait of the author as pop cult figure--unabashed in his pursuit of fame and fortune but unstinting in his devotion to becoming one of America's major prose stylists.
These interviews range from the first he granted after the publication of his first novel through his shockingly personal self-interview which appeared at the end of his last major work.
About the Author
New Orleans native Truman Capote (1924-1984) was one of the most prominent American authors of the postwar era whose best-known books include the novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s (the basis for the 1961 film) and his nonfiction masterpiece In Cold Blood. Capote won the O. Henry Memorial Short Story Prize twice and was a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. For a time, he and Harper Lee were neighbors in Monroeville, Alabama.
Date of Birth:September 30, 1924
Date of Death:August 25, 1984
Place of Birth:New Orleans, Louisiana
Place of Death:Los Angeles, California
Education:Trinity School and St. John's Academy in New York City and Greenwich High School in Connecticut
Read an Excerpt
Jann Wenner: Where did the title for your last novel, Answered Prayers, come from?
Truman Capote: It came from St. Theresa, who said, "More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones," and I do believe that' s true, because I think when you get what you want, and you've really got it, then by the sheer nature of things, something else has to be substituted for what it was that you wanted. So in some way we come to regret ... And when St. Theresa said that "more tears were shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones," well, it's hell to get rid of an answered prayer. It can be a lover or a career or success of the kind that you've got, but it turned out to be not right. Because always there has to be something else that you want. Otherwise there's really no reason to get up in the morning.