Re-Capturing Truman Capote
By Jerry Portwood
Photo by Harvey Wang of Capote at the Drake Hotel / © Harvey Wang
We can never get enough of the Capote magic. And it seems we still have more to be seen and published.
As Lawrence Grobel tipped us off: "After 27 years in print, but never available as an e-book, I have got permission from the David Levine estate to reprint his original caricature of Truman Capote on the cover of the just-released Conversations with Capote e-book on Amazon.com (Kindle store). I've also gotten permission from photographer Harvey Wang to use the pictures he took of Capote during our talks." You can buy the e-book with the caricature here.
But wait! Vanity Fair has announced that its December issue features an unpublished story by Capote. As many will recall, he published an early chapter of his novel Answered Prayers in Esquire and it pretty much destroyed his life and reputation. This may be an unpublished chapter of the same novel.
As ArtsBeat explains, the six-page tale, titled "Yachts and Things," was uncovered in the Manuscripts and Archives Division of the New York Public Library and is thought to be a portion of his infamous unfinished novel, Answered Prayers, which was published posthumously in 1987, three years after his death.
Although a work of fiction, the characters were blatantly based on many of the socialites Capote befriended, such as Jackie O. and Peggy Guggenheim.
As Galleycat explains, the new story is "about two friends about to take 'an idyllic three-week cruise in the Mediterranean aboard a friend’s chartered yacht.'" Sam Kashner, the Vanity Fair contributing editor who discovered the story, says the protagonist in "Yachts and Things," Mrs. Williams, might be a veiled representation of Katharine Graham, the publisher of The Washington Post at the time.