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Truman Capote Biography

(1924–84), Other Voices, Other Rooms, A Tree of Night and Other Stories, The Glass Harp

American writer, born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He left school at 15, by which time he had already been writing short stories for over a year. His earlier works defined many of the social conventions of the deeply conservative post-war years by their sympathetic portrayal of characters normally deemed immoral or amoral. Among his works of fiction are Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948), which discussed homosexuality; A Tree of Night and Other Stories (1949); The Glass Harp (1951; dramatized 1952), about people freeing themselves from social demands by living in a tree house; and Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958), a novella centred on the free-spirited Holly Golightly. His plays include House of Flowers (1954), a musical set in a Caribbean brothel; The Thanksgiving Visitor (1968); and Trilogy; An Experiment in Multimedia (1969). His travel writing appears in Local Color (1950) and The Muses Are Heard (1956), his account of a tour through Russia with the cast of Porgy and Bess. In 1966 he produced a collection of short stories, A Christmas Memory, and also achieved widespread notoriety with the publication of In Cold Blood, an early example of ‘faction’ (see New Journalism) concerned with an infamous multiple murderer. He also enhanced his reputation with a procession of acerbic journalism and shorter prose pieces, some of which appeared in the collections Then It All Came Down (1976) and Music for Chameleons (1980). A large project provisionally called Unanswered Prayers was left unfinished at his unexpected death.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Burghers of Calais to Peter Carey Biography