cover image Truman Capote: A Literary Life at the Movies

Truman Capote: A Literary Life at the Movies

Tison Pugh. Univ. of Georgia, $28.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-8203-4669-4

While Truman Capote is known as an esteemed literary author, it is surprising to learn just how complicated his relationship with Hollywood was. In Pugh's (Queer Chivalry) newest book, he explores Capote's contributions to film despite his opining that film was not "the greatest living thing." Of course, much of Capote's writing has been adapted to film%E2%80%94most notably Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood%E2%80%94but he also contributed to various screenplays and even gained his own controversial form of celebrity. Capote "was famous for being famous, as much as he was revered as a remarkably talented writer" writes Pugh. Each chapter concerns itself with different aspects of his life and writings from his aforementioned celebrity, which led to cameos in films like Annie Hall, to the contrasts between his novella, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and that of the film to the subsequent depictions of Capote in cinema, in films like Capote and Infamous. With thick paragraphs on every page, each chapter is its own academic essay, with enough content to be stretched into a full collegiate course. This makes for dense reading but also opens many avenues of film and literature to explore as well. It's a hefty book yet rich with insight into Capote's literary and cinematic achievements. (May)