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Truman Capote Research Paper

979 words - 4 pages

Imagine a person with unparalleled success: he throws the most lavish parties, is adored by the public and belongs to the most elite social circles. Now imagine their success crashing in a downward spiral of drugs, alcohol, and a festering obsession with money and fame. A perfect example of this would undoubtedly be Truman Capote. Capote was a literary mastermind who achieved the American Dream at a relatively young age , only to have it ripped away from him because of his own recklessness and self destructive decisions.
Truman Capote was born Truman Streckfus Persons in 1924 in New Orleans, Louisiana (Boon 2). Truman had a childhood that was far from ideal in all aspects. His mother ...view middle of the document...

Although Capote’s job at the New Yorker consisted of mainly of errands, his primary focus continued to be his writing and produced multiple short stories, many of which were never published or that Capote burned in the years prior to his death (Patterson 5). In June, 1945 the publication of his short story “Miriam” in Mademoiselle magazine brought him the widespread attention that he had been seeking (Goad 5). “Miriam” garnered the O.Henry award in 1946 and led Capote to sign a contract for a novel. Capote’s first novel Other Voices, Other Rooms was published in 1948 (Goad 5) and demonstrated his talent for writing. However, the book’s early notoriety was not gained because of Capote’s writing, but rather because of the book’s homosexual theme and the photo of Capote on the dust jacket. The publicity of the novel caused the then twenty-three year old Capote to become a bestselling author. Yet the identification between Capote and the main protagonist of Other Voices, Other Rooms, specifically because they were both homosexual gathered outrage and forced Capote to go into exile in Europe. Capote traveled around Europe for ten years with his partner, Jack Dunphy (Boon 4). During this time, Capote mainly wrote nonfiction travel essays as well as short stories, one of which was A Tree of Night (Goad 6).
After Capote returned to the United States, he wrote the fiction piece Breakfast at Tiffany’s which was first published in Esquire magazine and then in book form in 1959 (Goad 8). In 1959, after the publication of Breakfast at Tiffany’s Capote was desperately looking for a subject that he could write his planned nonfiction novel on. On November 16th of that year, capote read an article in The New York Times about a family murder in Kansas (Patterson 7). In a period of a few days, Capote along with his...

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