Thursday, September 14, 2006
Truman Capote and Harper Lee
Juniors read Capote’s In Cold Blood this summer. Capote called it a nonfiction novel, a new literary art form, and discussed it in an interview with George Plimpton in the New York Times. Rereading the novel brought me back to the first time. His description of Nancy’s last day is chilling and has always stayed with me – the lovely young woman helping others, baking a cherry pie. We know her happiness will soon turn to horror.
You may want to try some of his fiction, the short stories being my favorite (SC CAP.) Or, you may want to learn more of his life story (Capote: a biography by Gerald Clarke 921 CAP.) We also have Capote on DVD in which he is portrayed by Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Did you know he was Dill in To Kill a Mockingbird (FIC LEE) by Harper Lee? Or that she inspired a character in his Other Voices, Other Rooms (FIC CAP?) She served as his research assistant in Holcombe, Kansas while he worked on In Cold Blood.
Mockingbird : a portrait of Harper Lee by Charles Shields (921 LEE) is an unauthorized biography. I found the details about her friendship with Capote to be the most interesting.
Harper Lee wrote a letter to Oprah’s magazine this July on how she became a reader. It’s worth seeking out the magazine.