The Complete Stories (Modern Library (Paperback))
Most readers know Truman Capote as the author of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood, or they remember his notorious social life and wild and witty public appearances. But he was also the author of superb short tales that were as elegant as they were heartfelt, as compassionate as they were grotesque. This volume is the first to assemble all of Capote’s short fiction—a collection that indeed confirms his status as one of the masters of this form. From the Gothic South to the chic East Coast, from rural children to aging urban sophisticates, all the unforgettable places and people of Capote’s oeuvre are captured in this compendium. The Complete Stories of Truman Capote restores its author to a place not only above mere celebrity but to the highest levels of American letters.
*Starred Review* The common perception of Capote (who died in 1984) is that he had a brilliant early beginning to a career that eventually fizzled out in drug use and soured celebrity. His "new nonfiction" book, In Cold Blood (1966), the true story of a Kansas murder told with great fictional technique and elan, is generally regarded as his finest achievement. But now, for the first time, all of Capote's short stories are being published together, an event that signifies a renewed appreciation of his overall contribution to literature, for evidence is presented in this one volume that he should be ranked as a major American short story writer. By instinct, he produced the amalgam of fact and fiction that became In Cold Blood; similarly but contrarily, by instinct he wrote short stories always intent on maintaining the form's integrity as distinct from the novel. Most of Capote's short story work was concentrated in the early years of his career, the 1940s, but his capacity for writing deeply thought-out, deeply felt stories continued into the 1980s, from the first story in the collection, "The Walls Are Cold," a short, entertaining piece about a young, flirtatious socialite, to the last story, "One Christmas," set in the Alabama and New Orleans of his boyhood, a story conjured from the heart--but free of overripe sentiment--about learning the differences in how people love. Both a broadening of theme and deepening in treatment are observable when the stories in the collection are read in order; all of them are linked by a shimmering, but never showy, eloquence and sensitive observation of the personal environments his characters inhabit, both psychological and physical. Brad HooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition. “An abundance of riches. . . . It is not hard at all to open to any page . . . and be amused, moved, intrigued.” —Newsday “To best experience Capote the stylist, one must go back to his short fiction. . . . One experiences as strongly as ever his gift for concrete abstraction and his spectacular observancy.” —The New Yorker“It is a stunning experience to reread this fiction . . . and to realize how very golden this boy was. . . . We are in the presence of a tremendous talent, and a fully mature technique as well. Norman Mailer’s judgment that Capote was the most perfect writer of their generation—‘he writes the best sentences word for word, rhythm upon rhythm’—seems true and just.” —The New Criterion“Capote does some things perfectly than many writers can’t do at all. . . . He summons the sensory world in its bewildering, inexhaustible richness.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review
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