Several of our readers have asked questions about Truman Capote, so we thought we would follow up with a few brief observations about his career. We have written about his friendship with Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, as well has his magnificent “Black and White Ball,” on previous blogs.
Truman Capote wrote a number of novels following The Thanksgiving Visitor and A Christmas Memory short stories, the two most notable being Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood.
Tiffany’s appeared in 1958 and was famously adapted for film in 1961. Starring Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, it is less true to the novella than Capote would have preferred. He called it a “valentine to New York.” Nonetheless, it was a box office success and the score, which featured the Henry Mancini/Johnny Mercer song “Moon River,” is a classic.
Capote’s greatest success is the masterpiece, In Cold Blood. It is a relatively true account of a grisly multiple murder that took place in Holcomb, Kansas in 1959. Spending years meticulously researching the crime, Capote compiled more than 8,000 pages of notes in the process. The book is a riveting, tour de force that stands as one of the American classics of the last century. Millions of copies have been sold, it is still in print today.
Capote’s other real genius was self-promotion: check out the pictures above where he appeared on a number of covers of national magazines during the same week that the book was released. Dominating the media at the time, Capote literally minted money on major network television – these appearances translated into more and more book sales.
His long decent into alcoholism and drug addiction sadly marked the final years of his life.
Truman Capote was cremated, his ashes were scattered at Crooked Pond on Long Island, New York.
This brief profile hardly captures the impact Truman Capote had on both the literary and social scene at the time: if you’re interested, Gerald Clarke and George Plimpton have both written wonderful biographies about this truly unique figure.
Martin Oaks is a crematory and cemetery located in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. We are open 24 hours, 7 days a week, including holidays. You can reach us any time at (469) 605-7215.