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Prolific critic Long presents a concise but compelling journey through the works and life of a unique writer in American literature. He begins with a brief and rather shallow sketch of Capote's early life, highlighting his tragic childhood and the relationships the eccentric author maintained with various members of New York's elite. Long draws heavily from Capote's unpublished papers and from Gerald Clarke's Capote: A Biography. This brief sketch, however, sets the stage for a compelling analysis of the effect of the author's tragic life on the gothic nature of his prose. Long brilliantly places each piece in the context of the author's life and of the culture at the time of its release. The book ends with a retrospective contemplation of Capote's influence and place in American letters. Each chapter represents a cogent and concise snapshot of Capote's genius in a specific period, while the entire book becomes a journey through Capote's life, work, and demons placed within the context of American literary culture. Recommended for most libraries.