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Capote: A Biography
Synopses & Reviews
Based on interviews with the author of In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany?s and with nearly everyone who knew him, this absorbing, definitive, and generously illustrated biography follows Truman Capote from his eccentric childhood in Alabama to the heights of New York society. Candidly, too, it 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.
"Extraordinary....Rich in intelligence and compassion....One can't put the book down. Few literary biographies in recent memory have been so vivid and absorbing." Bruce Bawer, The Wall Street Journal
"In this work of prodigious research gracefully presented, Mr. Clarke, whohad his subject's confidence during the last years, gives Capote what the writer himself, in a last grand, gutsy gesture, declared he wanted: a book in which nothing, nothing at all, was left out....The book reads as if it had been written alongside the life, rather than after it, like a car following a train, the driver picking up passengers as they alight, always catching the right people at the right time. He pulls together the pieces of the puzzle and makes us see a terrible inevitability in the journey from the fetching little fellow with an uncanny talent...to the blocked and bloated self-parody whose most severe lacerations were self-inflicted." Molly Haskell, The New York Times Book Review
"Scandal was the sea in which Capote swam. Clarke quotes Capote's story, for instance, of his not-very-electric sexual fling with Errol Flynn, and of a tender interlude with John Garfield ('one of the nicest people I've ever known. My mother saw him just once and tried to get him into bed with her'). Capote used such shockers to draw corresponding admissions from subjects he interviewed. Clarke's breezy and sympathetic account inevitably teems with them and is sure to keep tongues wagging busily." John Skow, Time
"Clarke's account of Capote's rise and fall is thorough enough to remain definitive for years." David Gates, Newsweek
Based on interviews with the author of In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany's and with nearly everyone who knew him, this absorbing, definitive, and generously illustrated biography follows Truman Capote from his eccentric childhood in Alabama to the heights of New York society. Candidly, too, it 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.
From instant celebrity at age 23 to overweight, alcoholic loner in his 50s, Truman Capote streaked across the middle of this century on a comet of genius, self-destruction, and fame. Drawing upon hundreds of hours of interviews with Capote and with nearly everyone who knew him, and with exclusive access to personal papers, Gerald Clarke has written the definitive biography of an incomparable man and his time.
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