C is for Capote


Truman Capote was born in New Orleans in 1924 and is best known for his novel Breakfast at Tiffany’s and “nonfiction novel” In Cold Blood.

He taught himself how to read and write and having discovered his passion for writing when he was 11, spent the rest of his childhood honing his craft. He started by writing short stories, the first of which was published when he was 21.

A close friend of Harper Lee’s, both Capote and Lee have characters based on each other feature in their work and Lee worked along side Capote as he researched In Cold Blood.

Capote embraced being a celebrity and would seek out the company of authors, critics, business tycoons and Hollywood A listers. But, after years of drug and alcohol dependency, rehab clinics and break downs he died of liver cancer at the age of 59.

My Favourite Truman Capote Quotes:

“I write my first version in longhand (pencil). Then I do a complete revision, also in longhand.”

“Everything a writer writes is in some way autobiographical.”

“Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot it.”

“All literature is gossip.”

“Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade, just as a painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself.”

I love this whole idea of literature being gossip. The stories we tell each other, going right back to the days round the campfire. I picture two women in their back yards, hanging their washing and discussing the recent events of the street where they live. I think we’ve kinda lost that nowadays, probably because, here in the UK, I think we’ve lost a sense of community. People are too busy now to stop and chat in the street don’t you think?

When was the last time you sat down to have a chat? (Or as we say here, a natter lol)

45 thoughts on “C is for Capote

  1. Love the gossip quote! and Breakfast at Tiffany’s is ne of my fav movies actually. I had a natter by phone with friend in Nottingham the other day and met another for coffee and writing. Actually I think we still do talk on the street – at bus stops anyway


    • Good isn’t it Sue 😉

      Oh, definitely, good old Audrey!

      Ahhhhh, see now I don’t ever use Bus Stops and the ones I see in London everyone is just standing there in silence looking miserable 😦



  2. Yeah, most of our natters are done online (Did I use that correctly?). I love that, but I miss the sense of community I had when I was little and how I could hang out on my street all day just as long as I stayed on my street. I love Truman Capote.


    • You did Sydney 🙂 I also refer to nattering as a good old “chin wag” but I thought that might be going a bit too far for this post lol.

      Oh gawd yes! Times have changed honey 😦



  3. Love these quotes, especially the one about finishing a book. Ugh but so right. In Cold Blood was/is such an important book so I am very glad you chose him. But which character in To Kill A Mocking Bird is baed on him. One doesn’t jump out but it is a long time since I read it.


  4. Was just thinking that maybe he took it all a bit seriously and then I saw the gossip quote. I like the mix – it’s gossip, but we care passionately about it at times.


  5. Sad the way so many creative people intoxicate themselves to death 😦 I didn’t know anything about Truman Capote (except for Breakfast at Tiffany’s) so thank you for educating me. He had the best name ever – it looks so right written on a book jacket!


    • I know Bel 😦 I think they just get a bit carried away.

      You’re very welcome honey, I’m learning a lot myself lol

      It’s a fantastic name! But I never really knew if I should pronounce the “E” on the end or not (ie Capote or Capotie lol) until I was doing some searching for a clip of him on YouTube lol



  6. Truman Capote was indeed an interesting writer. My daughter’s favorite book is To Kill A Mockingbird (which I didn’t read until just a couple of years ago) so I do know that Truman Capote was the inspiration for Dill. I’ve also heard that he was always terribly jealous when Harper Lee won the Pulitzer Prize and it ended their lifelong friendship.
    I saw the Breakfast at Tiffany’s movie not long ago and I mean to read the book, but haven’t yet.
    Laura @ The Sweet Simple Things


  7. Fun post! With technology (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) true, face-to-face chats are so rare. Instead, we send text message and IM’s. Great topic! Happy A-to-Z 2013! ~Angela, Whole Foods Living


  8. I loved this quote the best: “Everything a writer writes is in some way autobiographical.” It is absolutely true. So much of what I write is pulled from my life. Thanks for the post!


  9. You are doing such a wonderful thing, Vikki! (That’s not new.) You’re providing so many readers, writers and others an education about writers some of us might now know. ~ Becca


    • Awwwww, thanks Becca 🙂

      I’d say there’s probably 2 or 3 on the list that I’ve never heard of, but on the whole I’ve tried to choose great writers that new writers can learn something from. The trouble is, most of them I’ve never actually read! Lol



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