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Truman Capote Return to the Timeline
Truman Capote
Born Truman Streckfus Persons, Truman Capote set many of his works in the South.This portrait of Capote with puppets in the foreground was created by Carl Van Vechten March 30, 1948.

Library of Congress
Truman Capote, (1924-1984), was an American author known for his distinctive, polished style. He was also a leading celebrity of his day, and his friendships with rich and famous people were widely reported. His best-known work is IN COLD BLOOD (1966). It combines facts with fiction to tell about two drifters who murder a Kansas farm family.

Capote was born in New Orleans on Sept. 30, 1924, and manyof his works have Southern settings. His real name was Truman Streckfus Persons. OTHER VOICES, OTHER ROOMS (1948) tells of a boy's bittersweet upbringing in the rural South. A TREE OF NIGHT, AND OTHER STORIES (1949) and the novel THE GRASS HARP (1951) present eccentric characters and unusual situations. Capote wrote the short novel BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S (1958) about a light-hearted playgirl in New York City. He wrote the book and lyrics for "House of Flowers" (1954),a musical set in the West Indies. Three books of fiction werepublished after Capote's death on Aug. 25, 1984. They are an unfinished novel, ANSWERED PRAYERS (1986); THE COMPLETE STORIES OF TRUMAN CAPOTE (2004); and his first novel, written in 1943, SUMMER CROSSING (2005). TOO BRIEF A TREAT: THE LETTERS OF TRUMAN CAPOTE was published in 2004.

Capote wrote much nonfiction. THE MUSES ARE HEARD (1956) describes his trip to the Soviet Union with the cast of the opera "Porgy and Bess." MUSIC FOR CHAMELEONS (1980) mixes fiction, reporting, andmemoirs.

Contributor:
Barbara M. Perkins, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor, University of Toledo; Associate Editor, Narrative.

From THE WORLD BOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA © 2007 World Book, Inc. By permission of the publisher. Visit World Book Encyclopedia for more information on Truman Capote and related subjects.


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