Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the Dawn of the American Woman

Sam Wasson, Author . Harper Studio $19.99 (231p) ISBN 978-0-06-177415-7

Wasson, who wrote on the career of writer-director Blake Edwards in A Splurch in the Kisser , tightens his focus for a closeup of Edwards's memorable Breakfast at Tiffany's , which received five Oscar nominations (with two wins). Interviewing Edwards and others, he skillfully interweaves key events during the making of this cinema classic. He begins (and ends) with Truman Capote, whose novel was initially regarded as unadaptable by the producers, since they “hadn't the faintest idea how the hell they were going to take a novel with no second act, a nameless gay protagonist, a motiveless drama, and an unhappy ending and turn it into a Hollywood movie.” The flow of Wasson's words carries the reader from pre-production to on-set feuds and conflicts, while also noting Hepburn's impact on fashion (Givenchy's little black dress), Hollywood glamour, sexual politics, and the new morality. Always stingy with praise, Capote dismissed the finished film as a “mawkish valentine to New York City,” but one feels he would have been entranced by Wasson's prismatic approach as he walks “a perilous path between the analytic interpretation and the imaginative one.” The result deserves Capote's “nonfiction novel” label. Recapturing an era, this evocative “factual re-creation” reads like carefully crafted fiction. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/19/2010
Release date: 06/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-06-200013-2
Hardcover - 231 pages - 978-0-06-177415-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-221728-8
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-221727-1
Hardcover - 231 pages - 978-1-84513-608-6
Open Ebook - 268 pages - 978-1-84513-655-0
Paperback - 231 pages - 978-1-78131-080-9
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