Truman Capote

Truman Capote (1924 – 1984) was an American novelist, screenwriter, playwright, and actor, many of whose short stories, novels, plays, and nonfiction are recognized literary classics, including the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958) and the true crime novel In Cold Blood (1966), which he labeled a "nonfiction novel". At least 20 films and television dramas have been produced of Capote novels, stories, and plays.
Capote rose above a childhood troubled by divorce, a long absence from his mother, and multiple migrations. He had discovered his calling as a writer by the age of 11, and for the rest of his childhood he perfected his writing ability. Capote began his professional career writing short stories. The critical success of one story, "Miriam" (1945), attracted the attention of Random House publisher Bennett Cerf, and resulted in a contract to write the novel Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948). Capote earned the most fame with In Cold Blood, a journalistic work about the murder of a Kansas farm family in their home. Capote spent four years writing the book aided by his lifelong friend Harper Lee, who wrote To Kill a Mockingbird (1960).

A landmark in popular culture, In Cold Blood was the peak of Capote's literary career; it was to be his final fully published book. In the 1970s, he maintained his celebrity status by appearing on television talk shows.
cover of In Cold Blood
Cover of the book by Capote
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Capote was the son of 17-year-old Lillie Mae Faulk and salesman Archulus Persons. His parents divorced when he was four, and he was sent to Monroeville, Alabama, where, for the following four to five years, he was raised by his mother's relatives. He formed a fast bond with his mother's distant relative, Nanny Rumbley Faulk, whom Truman called "Sook". "Her face is remarkable – not unlike Lincoln's, rocky like that, and tinted by sun and wind", is how Capote described Sook in "A Christmas Memory" (1956). In Monroeville, he was a neighbor and friend of author Harper Lee, who is rumored to have based the character Dill on Capote.
As a lonely child, Capote taught himself to read and write before he entered his first year of school. Capote was often seen at age five carrying his dictionary and notepad, and began writing fiction at the age of 11. He was given the nickname "Bulldog" around this age.
On Saturdays, he made trips from Monroeville to the nearby city of Mobile on the Gulf Coast, and at one point submitted a short story, "Old Mrs. Busybody", to a children's writing contest sponsored by the Mobile Press Register. Capote received recognition for his early work from The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards in 1936.
In 1933, he moved to New York City to live with his mother and her second husband, Joseph Capote, a Cuban-born textile broker, who adopted him as his stepson and renamed him Truman García Capote. However, Joseph was convicted of fraud and shortly afterwards, when his income crashed, the family was forced to leave Park Avenue.
Of his early days, Capote related, "I began writing really sort of seriously when I was about eleven. I say seriously in the sense that like other kids go home and practice the violin or the piano or whatever, I used to go home from school every day, and I would write for about three hours. I was obsessed by it." In 1935, he attended the Trinity School in New York City. He then attended St. Joseph Military Academy. In 1939, the Capote family moved to Greenwich, Connecticut, and Truman attended Greenwich High School, where he wrote for both the school's literary journal, The Green Witch, and the school newspaper. When they returned to New York City in 1942, he attended the Franklin School, an Upper West Side private school now known as the Dwight School, and graduated in 1943. That was the end of his formal education.
While still attending Franklin in 1943, Capote began working as copyboy in the art department at The New Yorker, a job he held for two years before being fired for angering poet Robert Frost. Years later, he reminisced, "Not a very grand job, for all it really involved was sorting cartoons and clipping newspapers. Still, I was fortunate to have it, especially since I was determined never to set a studious foot inside a college classroom. I felt that either one was or wasn't a writer, and no combination of professors could influence the outcome. I still think I was correct, at least in my own case." He left his job to live with relatives in Alabama and began writing his first novel, Summer Crossing.

Replaced vocabulary

honed  milestone  craggy  embezzlement

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