Books

The Early Stories of Truman Capote

Truman Capote

'Breathtaking ... The stories are special. They stand in their own right as lovely vignettes of the lives of the lonely, broken and troubled' Andrew Johnson, Independent

Written when Truman Capote was in his teens and twenties, these recently-discovered short stories give a rare insight into an American icon. Tales of disappointed lovers, ageing spinsters, hoboes and murderous housewives, of yearning, poverty, despair, compassion, wit and wonder, they show us the boy from Alabama who became one of the twentieth century's most celebrated literary voices.

'An intriguing glimpse of Capote as a boy: precocious, provocative, spirited and strange, a "pocket Merlin" spinning tall tales' Olivia Laing, New Statesman

In Cold Blood

Truman Capote

In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences is considered by many to be the first work of the true crime genre. In this groundbreaking book, Truman Capote reconstructs the murder of the Clutter family from information provided by newspaper articles and interviews.

'Dick became convinced that Perry was that rarity, "a natural killer" - absolutely sane, but conscienceless, and capable of dealing, with or without motive, the coldest-blooded deathblows'

On 15 November 1959, the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, a wealthy farmer, his wife and their two young children were found brutally murdered. Blood all over the walls, the telephone lines cut, and only a few dollars stolen. Heading up the investigation is Agent Al Dewey, but all he has are two footprints, four bodies, and a whole lot of questions.

Truman Capote's detailed reconstruction of the events and consequences of that fateful night, In Cold Blood is a chilling, gripping mix of journalistic skill and imaginative power.

'The American dream turning into the American nightmare. A remarkable book' Spectator

'One of the most stupendous books of the decade' Sunday Express

Truman Capote was one of the most significant American authors of the twentieth century, known for his highly acclaimed books, including: Breakfast at Tiffany's, A Tree of Night and Other Stories and The Grass Harp. In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany's have been selected for the Penguin Essentials series of books considered some of the twentieth century's most important reads.

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Truman Capote

Truman Capote's dazzling New York novel Breakfast at Tiffany's that inspired the classic 1961 film starring Audrey Hepburn is beautifully repackaged as part of the Penguin Essentials range.


'What I've found does the most good is just to get into a taxi and go to Tiffany's. It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there, not with those kind men in their nice suits...'

Meet Holly Golightly - a free spirited, lop-sided romantic girl about town. With her tousled blond hair and upturned nose, dark glasses and chic black dresses, Holly is a style sensation wherever she goes. Her apartment rocks to Martini-soaked parties and she plays hostess to millionaires and gangsters alike. Yet Holly never loses sight of her ultimate dream - to find a real life place like Tiffany's that makes her feel at home.

Full of sharp wit and exuberant, larger-than-life characters which vividly capture the restless, madcap era of 1940s New York, Breakfast at Tiffany's will make you fall in love, perhaps for the first time, with a book.

'A master writer ... makes the heart sing and the narrative fly' The New York Times

'The most romantic story ever written' Alex James, Guardian

'One of the century's greatest storytellers' Independent on Sunday

Truman Capote was born in New Orleans in 1925. By the age of fourteen he had already started writing short stories, some of which were published. After leaving school at fifteen he worked for the New Yorker, his first - and last - regular job. Following this Capote spent two years on a Louisiana farm where he wrote Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948). He lived, at one time or another, in Greece, Italy, Africa and the West Indies, and travelled in Russia and the Orient. Capote is the author of many highly acclaimed books, including A Tree of Night and Other Stories (1949), The Grass Harp (1951), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958), In Cold Blood (1965), which immediately became the centre of a storm of controversy on its publication, Music for Chameleons (1980) and Answered Prayers (1986). Truman Capote died in 1984.

In Cold Blood

Truman Capote

Controversial and compelling, In Cold Blood reconstructs the murder in 1959 of a Kansas farmer, his wife and children. Truman Capote's comprehensive study of the killings and subsequent investigation explores the circumstances surrounding this terrible crime and the effect it had on those involved. At the centre of his study are the amoral young killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock, who, vividly drawn by Capote, are shown to be reprehensible, yet entirely and frighteningly human. The book that made Capote's name, In Cold Blood is a seminal work of modern prose, a remarkable synthesis of journalistic skill and powerfully evocative narrative.

Summer Crossing

Truman Capote

Grady - beautiful, rich, flame-haired, defiant - is the sort of girl people stare at across a room. The daughter of an important man, who people want to be introduced to. A girl to whom people sense something is going to happen ...

But her privileged society life of parties, debutantes and dresses leaves her wanting more. And excitement comes in the form of the highly unsuitable Clyde, a Brooklyn-born, Jewish parking attendant. When Grady's parents leave her alone for the first time in their New York penthouse one summer, their secret affair intensifies. As a heat wave envelops the city, Grady gets in deeper and deeper and cares less about the consequences. Soon, though, she will be forced to make decisions - choices that will forever affect her future once the long, sultry summer comes to an end.

The Complete Stories

Truman Capote (and others)

Including a previously-unpublished story 'The Bargain', Truman Capote's The Complete Stories is the first ever complete collection stories from one of the masters of American literature, and the author of Breakfast at Tiffany's. This Penguin Classics edition includes an introduction by Reynolds Price.

Passionate, perceptive and eloquent, the short stories of Truman Capote are amon the greatest works of twentieth-century American fiction. This new collection gathers them all together for the first time: from early, eerie Southern Gothic tales such as 'Miriam' and 'The Headless Hawk', to the brilliantly evocative 'Children On Their Birth-days' and the tenderly autobiographical 'A Christmas Memory' - an affectionate portrayal of Capote's own Alabama upbringing. Whether describing the Deep South of his childhood, or considering city life with the penetrating gaze of an outsider - as in 'Among the Paths to Eden' and the hitherto unpublished 'The Bargain' - these stories rank among Capote's finest work: acutely observed tales from a unique and brilliant mind.

Truman Capote (1924-84) was born in New Orleans. He left school when he was fifteen and subsequently worked for The New Yorker, which provided his first - and last - regular job. He wrote both fiction and non-fiction - short stories, novels and novellas, travel writing, profiles, reportage, memoirs, plays and films; his other works include In Cold Blood (1965), Music for Chameleons (1980) and Answered Prayers (1986), all of which are published in Penguin Modern Classics.

If you enjoyed The Complete Stories, you might like Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'One of the century's greatest storytellers'
Independent on Sunday

Other Voices, Other Rooms

Truman Capote (and others)

When Joel Knox's mother dies, he is sent into the exotic unknown of the Deep South to live with a father he has never seen. But once he gets there, everyone is curiously evasive when Joel asks to see his father. Truman Capote's first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms is a brilliant, searching study of homosexuality set in a shimmering landscape of heat, mystery and decadence.

A Capote Reader

Truman Capote

'The only four things that interested me were: reading books, going to the movies, tap-dancing and drawing pictures. Then one day I started writing . . .' Truman Capote began writing at the age of eight, and never looked back. A Capote Reader contains much of the author's published work: his brilliant and prolific oeuvre of fiction, travel sketches, portraits, reportage and essays. It includes all twelve of his celebrated short stories, together with The Grass Harp and Breakfast at Tiffany's. There are vivid sketches of places from Tangiers to Brooklyn, and fascinating insights into the lives of his contemporaries, from Jane Bowles and Cecil Beaton to Marilyn Monroe and Tennessee Williams. Generous space is devoted to reportage including 'The Muses Are Heard', on his trip to Communist Europe in the 1950s with the cast of Porgy and Bess. In all, A Capote Reader demonstrates the chameleon talents of one of America's most versatile and gifted writers.

Answered Prayers

Truman Capote

P.B. Jones is the amoral, bisexual protagonist of this unfinished novel. He discovers that bed-hopping rather than literary ability is the way to get published. He discovers along the way that prayers that are answered cause more pain than those that remain ignored.

Music for Chameleons

Truman Capote

At the centre of Music for Chameleons is Handcarved Coffins, a ‘nonfiction novel’ based on the brutal crimes of a real-life murderer.Taking place in a small Midwestern town in America, it offers chilling insights into the mind of a killer and the obsession of the man bringing him to justice. Also in this volume are six short stories and seven ‘conversational portraits’ including a touching one of Marilyn Monroe, the ‘beautiful child’ and a hilarious one of a dope-smoking cleaning lady doing her rounds in New York.

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Truman Capote

Immortalised by Audrey Hepburn's sparkling performance in the 1961 film of the same name, Breakfast at Tiffany's is Truman Capote's timeless portrait of tragicomic cultural icon Holly Golightly, published in Penguin Modern Classics.

It's New York in the 1940s, where the martinis flow from cocktail hour till breakfast at Tiffany's. And nice girls don't, except, of course, for Holly Golightly: glittering socialite traveller, generally upwards, sometimes sideways and once in a while - down. Pursued by to Salvatore 'Sally' Tomato, the Mafia sugar-daddy doing life in Sing Sing and 'Rusty' Trawler, the blue-chinned, cuff-shooting millionaire man about women about town, Holly is a fragile eyeful of tawny hair and turned-up nose, a heart-breaker, a perplexer, a traveller, a tease. She is irrepressibly 'top banana in the shock deparment', and one of the shining flowers of American fiction.

This edition also contains three stories: 'House of Flowers', 'A Diamond Guitar' and 'A Christmas Memory'.

Truman Capote (1924-84) was born in New Orleans. He left school when he was fifteen and subsequently worked for The New Yorker, which provided his first - and last - regular job. He wrote both fiction and non-fiction - short stories, novels and novellas, travel writing, profiles, reportage, memoirs, plays and films; his other works include In Cold Blood (1965), Music for Chameleons (1980) and Answered Prayers (1986), all of which are published in Penguin Modern Classics.

If you enjoyed Breakfast at Tiffany's, you might like Capote's In Cold Blood, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'One of the twentieth century's most gorgeously romantic fictions'
Daily Telegraph

'The most perfect writer of my generation ... I would not have changed two words of Breakfast at Tiffany's'
Norman Mailer

In Cold Blood

Truman Capote

The chilling true crime 'non-fiction novel' that made Truman Capote's name, In Cold Blood is a seminal work of modern prose, a remarkable synthesis of journalistic skill and powerfully evocative narrative published in Penguin Modern Classics.

Controversial and compelling, In Cold Blood reconstructs the murder in 1959 of a Kansas farmer, his wife and both their children. Truman Capote's comprehensive study of the killings and subsequent investigation explores the circumstances surrounding this terrible crime and the effect it had on those involved. At the centre of his study are the amoral young killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock, who, vividly drawn by Capote, are shown to be reprehensible yet entirely and frighteningly human.

Truman Capote (1924-84) was born in New Orleans. He left school when he was fifteen and subsequently worked for The New Yorker, which provided his first - and last - regular job. He wrote both fiction and non-fiction - short stories, novels and novellas, travel writing, profiles, reportage, memoirs, plays and films; his other works include In Cold Blood (1965), Music for Chameleons (1980) and Answered Prayers (1986), all of which are published in Penguin Modern Classics.

If you enjoyed In Cold Blood, you might like Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs' And the Hippos were Boiled in their Tanks, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'It is the American dream turning into the American nightmare ... By juxtaposing and dovetailing the lives and values of the Clutters and those of the killers, Capote produces a stark image of the deep doubleness of American life ... a remarkable book'
Spectator

Biography

Truman Capote was born in New Orleans in 1925. He is the author of many highly praised books, including A Tree of Night and Other Stories (1949), The Grass Harp (1951), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958), In Cold Blood (1965), which immediately became the centre of a storm of controversy on its publication, Music for Chameleons (1980) and Answered Prayers (1986), all of which are published by Penguin. Truman Capote died in August 1984.