Capote: A Biography

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Overview

Based on hundreds of hours of interviews with the man who authored In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany's, as well as with nearly everyone who knew him, this absorbing, definitive biography follows Truman Capote from his eccentric childhood in Alabama to the heights of New York society. Featuring many photographs, this book also candidly recounts a gifted and celebrated writer's descent into the life of alcohol and drugs that would ultimately consume his bulldog spirit and staggering talent--but not before he'd...
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Capote: A Biography

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Overview

Based on hundreds of hours of interviews with the man who authored In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany's, as well as with nearly everyone who knew him, this absorbing, definitive biography follows Truman Capote from his eccentric childhood in Alabama to the heights of New York society. Featuring many photographs, this book also candidly recounts a gifted and celebrated writer's descent into the life of alcohol and drugs that would ultimately consume his bulldog spirit and staggering talent--but not before he'd hobnob with the likes of Grace Paley and Lee Radziwill, feud outrageously with Gore Vidal and Jacqueline Susann, and stage at New York's Plaza Hotel the sensational Black and White Ball.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``In this riveting biography, Clarke, former Time writer, depicts the sad sequence of sparkling achievements and overwhelming despair that marked the life of Truman Capote,'' commented PW . ``Readers will be dazzled both by the life lived and the compelling skill with which Clarke brings it before us.'' Photos. Author tour. (May)
Library Journal
Clarke breaks Capote's life into four sections: a childhood spent mostly with relatives while his self-absorbed parents staggered through their disorderly lives; his years of discovery, when he had the two great romances of his life, traveled the world, and found his voice as a writer; the writing of In Cold Blood ; and the destructive obsessions with drugs, alcohol, and lovers that followed. Clarke's analysis tends to be superficial and his research, though impressive, has gaping holes. He is strongest in his portraits of Capote's first lover, the literary scholar Newton Arvin; the parade of men who disrupted the last 15 years of his life; and Capote's ``swans,'' the very wealthy women who became addicted to his seemingly magic touch. Paradoxically, Clarke fails to produce a full portrait of Capote himself. The chaotic figure will need to be studied from many angles: Clarke provides a point of reference. Rob Schmieder, Boston
From the Publisher
"Mesmerizing. . . . The book reads as if it had been written alongside the life, rather than after it."
—Molly Haskell, The New York Times Book Review

“A book of extraordinary substance, a study rich in intelligence and compassion....To read Capote is to have the sense that someone has put together all the important pieces of this consummate artist’s life, has given everything its due emphasis, and comprehended its ultimate meaning.”

—Bruce Bawer, The Wall Street Journal

“Engrossing, vivid, beautifully written, a large-scale portrait of the rich and famous. . . This is literary biography the way it should be written, as rich and densely textured as a novel.”

—James Atlas, Vogue

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786709120
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2001
  • Pages: 635
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.03 (h) x 1.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Gerald Clarke is the author of Capote: A Biography and Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland. He has also written for many publications, including The Atlantic, The New Republic, Rolling Stone, Architectural Digest, where he is a contributor; Time, where he was a senior writer; and Esquire. A graduate of Yale, he now lives in Bridgehampton, New York.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2006

    Outstanding

    I can't believe how fascinating of a life this man lived. What a true american. This work of literature is definitly one of the best in literary history!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2006

    not the movie . . .

    A good biography, but definitely not the movie. This book covers his entire life. By comparison, it glosses over the In Cold Blood years whereas the movie is focused on the In Cold Blood years in much more detail. The endless name dropping is tedious and distracting from the genius of the man, but I guess Capote was a bit of a name dropper and social climber.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2009

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    Posted March 7, 2012

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    Posted April 23, 2012

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    Posted June 12, 2009

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