And Capote had uneasy relations with various other southern writers who jealously guarded their literary turf, as indeed he did himself.
The novel's publication was almost upstaged by its jacket photo, which showed Capote, who appeared barely pubescent, lolling provocatively on a sofa like some male Lolita.
Many think of Capote as having squandered his gifts, but he devoted his youth, and early middle age, to hard and sustained labor, holing up for months in quiet spots in both Europe and America to work on whatever project he was embarked upon.
When a Broadway producer suggested that The Grass Harp be turned into a play, Capote responded with an enthusiasm that eventually proved misguided.
Probably the best-read and loved of all Capote's books, it strikes me as the least interesting as well, and not even original: character by character, situation by situation, it is a nearly exact imitation of Isherwood's "Sally Bowles" although no one ever mentions this fact--including Isherwood himself; who stayed more or less pals with Capote for the rest of their lives.
In November, 1959 Capote noticed a newspaper item about the murder of the Clutter family of Garden City, Kansas.
Capote immersed himself in the grisly material until it tainted every part of his life--the more so since he found himself powerfully identifying with one of the killers, Perry Smith.
Capote was the cynosure of literary New York and of worldly New York as well, when the famous black-and-white ball he threw at the Plaza late in 1966 was dubbed the party of the century.
2) Capote turns out to have been a surprisingly mediocre letter-writer; perhaps wisely, he saved his best efforts for his fiction.
But while the letters will only appeal to true enthusiasts, Other Voices, Other Rooms and The Complete Stories of Truman Capote should be as widely distributed as possible.
This morning my hope was fulfilled when, as I strolled through my Brooklyn neighborhood, I noticed a large banner for the benefit of tourists that read: "Brooklyn Heights: Home of Truman Capote.