The Early Stories of Truman Capote

The Early Stories of Truman Capote

Book - 2015
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Random House, Inc.
The early fiction of one of the nation’s most celebrated writers, Truman Capote, as he takes his first bold steps into the canon of American literature

Recently rediscovered in the archives of the New York Public Library, these short stories provide an unparalleled look at Truman Capote writing in his teens and early twenties, before he penned such classics as Other Voices, Other Rooms, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and In Cold Blood. This collection of more than a dozen pieces showcases the young Capote developing the unique voice and sensibility that would make him one of the twentieth century’s most original writers.

Spare yet heartfelt, these stories summon our compassion and feeling at every turn. Capote was always drawn to outsiders—women, children, African Americans, the poor—because he felt like one himself from a very early age. Here we see Capote’s powers of empathy developing as he depicts his characters struggling at the margins of their known worlds. A boy experiences the violence of adulthood when he pursues an escaped convict into the woods. Petty jealousies lead to a life-altering event for a popular girl at Miss Burke’s Academy for Young Ladies. In a time of extraordinary loss, a woman fights to save the life of a child who has her lover’s eyes.

In these stories we see early signs of Capote’s genius for creating unforgettable characters built of complexity and yearning. Young women experience the joys and pains of new love. Urbane sophisticates are worn down by cynicism. Children and adults alike seek understanding in a treacherous world. There are tales of crime and violence; of racism and injustice; of poverty and despair. And there are tales of generosity and tenderness; compassion and connection; wit and wonder. Above all there is the developing voice of a writer born in the Deep South who will use and eventually break from that tradition to become a literary figure like no other.

With a foreword by the celebrated New Yorker critic Hilton Als, this volume of early stories is essential for understanding how a boy from Monroeville, Alabama, became a legend in American literature.

Praise for The Early Stories of Truman Capote

“Succeeds at conveying the writer’s youthful rawness . . . These stories capture a moment when Capote was hungry to capture the rural South, the big city, and the subtle emotions that so many around him were determined to keep unspoken.”USA Today

“A window on the young writer’s emerging voice and creativity . . . Capote’s ability to conjure a time, place and mood with just a few sentences is remarkable.”—Associated Press

“Blueprints of the august, confident, and delightfully acerbic writer-to-come.”The Los Angeles Review of Books

“Dazzling.”The Columbus Dispatch

“[These stories] stand in their own right as lovely vignettes of the lives of the lonely, broken and troubled. . . . Breathtaking in their precocity, craftsmanship, simplicity and the tenderness [Capote] became renowned for.”The Independent (U.K.)

“These ten-plus stories were written when Capote was a teenager and young man and will shed light on his subsequent work while remaining sharply observed pleasures in their own right.”Library Journal

“[A] gathering of the great American prose stylist’s earliest pieces, published for the first time . . . Students of both Capote and the short story will find this instructive and entertaining.”Kirkus Reviews

Baker & Taylor
A collection of never-before-published stories from the author Breakfast at Tiffany's andIn Cold Blood, features tales set in the American South of his childhood and the cosmopolitan New York of the 1940s.

Baker
& Taylor

A collection of never-before-published stories features tales set in the American South of the author's childhood and the cosmopolitan New York of the 1940s.
"In a small Southern town, a teenage girl anxiously waits for her date to arrive. A little boy meets his dream dog in Central Park. A woman fights to save the life of a child who has her lover's eyes. Best friends discuss the theoretical murder of husbands. In these never-before-published stories, written by Truman Capote when he was in his teens and twenties, Capote-the-Writer is already recognizable. His prose: witty, poignant, and crystal-clear. His characters: solitary, observant young children; charming and naèive young women whom you could imagine befriending Holly Golightly; aging urban sophisticates worn down by cynicism. His settings: the rural South of his childhood and the cosmopolitan New York of the 1940s. This splendid collection offers readers to opportunity to see the confident first steps of one of the 20th century's most-acclaimed writers onto the path that would lead to his most beloved works"--

Publisher: New York : Random House, [2015]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780812998221
0812998227
Branch Call Number: Fiction Capote
Characteristics: xxii, 177 pages ; 19 cm
Additional Contributors: Als, Hilton

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From Library Staff

Discovered as manuscript pages in the New York Public Library Archives, these are Truman's teenage and young adult writings.


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JCLEdwardR Aug 16, 2016

A fairly light read. I have been reading early short story works by some of the greatest authors and this one is a mix bag. You can see where Capote was already on track to be a strong writer and it is nice to see where he was still working his craft.

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