Capote too lazy to write during rich, tabloid years*

Unlike the biographies, which tend to focus on the writer’s “later, wasted years,” a new collection of Truman Capote’s letters features correspondence mostly penned by Capote between the ages of nineteen and forty-two:

There’s very little here of the U.N. Plaza apartment and Princess Lee and even the Paleys, let alone the woozy Liza nights at Studio 54. According to Gerald Clarke, who edited the collection of letters and wrote a 1988 biography of Capote, in the decade and a half that the writer was rich and unproductive and miserable his correspondence “dwindled to postcards and telegrams — when he wanted to say something, he picked up the telephone.” Such laziness has purchased Capote an odd new posthumous privacy.

According to Thomas Mallon, “However corrective this volume may prove to Capote’s tabloid reputation, it will not gain him much epistolary renown.”

* Meanwhile, we here at fall behind on correspondence despite the fact that we hardly have a penny to our names.


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