005 In Cold Blood - Truman Capote.pdf - IN COLD BLOOD A...

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INCOLDBLOODA TRUE ACCOUNT OF A MULTIPLE MURDERAND ITS CONSEQUENCESTRUMANCAPOTE
CONTENTSAbout the AuthorIntroductionDedicationACKNOWLEDGMENTSEpigraphITHE LAST TO SEE THEM ALIVEIIPERSONS UNKNOWNIIIANSWERIVTHE CORNERThe Modern LibraryCopyright
TRUMAN CAPOTETruman Capote was born Truman Streckfus Persons onSeptember 30, 1924, in New Orleans. His early years wereaffected by an unsettled family life. He was turned over tothe care of his mother’s family in Monroeville, Alabama; hisfather was imprisoned for fraud; his parents divorced andthen fought a bitter custody battle over Truman. Eventuallyhe moved to New York City to live with his mother and hersecond husband, a Cuban businessman whose name headopted. The young Capote got a job as a copyboy atTheNew Yorkerin the early forties, but was fired forinadvertently offending Robert Frost. The publication of hisearly stories inHarper’s Bazaarestablished his literaryreputation when he was in his twenties, and his novelsOther Voices, Other Rooms(1948), a gothic coming-of-agestory that Capote described as “an attempt to exorcisedemons,” andThe Grass Harp(1951), a gentler fantasyrooted in his Alabama years, consolidated his precociousfame.From the start of his career Capote associated himself with awide range of writers and artists, high-society figures, andinternational celebrities, gaining frequent media attentionfor his exuberant social life. He collected his stories inA Treeof Night(1949) and published the novellaBreakfast atTiffany’s(1958), but devoted his energies increasingly tothe stage—adaptingThe Grass Harpinto a play and writingthe musicalHouse of Flowers(1954)—and to journalism, ofwhich the earliest examples wereLocal Color(1950) andThe Muses Are Heard(1956). He made a brief foray into themovies to write the screenplay for John Huston’sBeat theDevil(1954).
Capote’s interest in the murder of a family in Kansas led tothe prolonged investigation that provided the basis forInCold Blood(1966), his most successful and acclaimed book.By “treating a real event with fictional techniques,” Capoteintended to create a new synthesis: something both“immaculately factual” and a work of art. However its genrewas defined, from the moment it began to appear inserialized form inThe New Yorkerthe book exerted afascination among a wider readership than Capote’s writinghad ever attracted before. The abundantly publicizedmasked ball at the Plaza Hotel with which he celebrated thecompletion ofIn Cold Bloodwas an iconic event of the1960s, and for a time Capote was a constant presence ontelevision and in magazines, even trying his hand at movieacting inMurder by DeathHe worked for many years onAnswered Prayers, anultimately unfinished novel that was intended to be thedistillation of everything he had observed in his life amongthe rich and famous; an excerpt from it published inEsquirein 1975 appalled many of Capote’s wealthy friends for itsrevelation of intimate secrets, and he found himself.

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