cover image I Remember Grandpa: Truman Capote

I Remember Grandpa: Truman Capote

Truman Capote. Peachtree Publishers, $14.95 (37pp) ISBN 978-0-934601-22-1

No hint of the felicity to come graces this brief tribute by Truman Capote to his grandfather. Written when he was 22, it was previously published in 1986 in Redbook. A biographical note tells us that the story really commemorates Capote's uncle, but that change in emphasis doesn't explain either the absence of characterization or the blandness of the prose. Set on a West Virginia farm, the slim tale describes the removal of a boy and his parents to the city, for the sake of the boy's education. They leave in a snowstorm, the grandmother so sick that she will die soon afterwards, and the grandfather telling the boy that they share a secret, never, in fact, revealed. The boy writes one letter to Grandpa, receives an answer and never communicates with him again. When the old man dies, having slipped out of his grandson's memory, a packet of photographs is delivered to the house, recalling once more the warmth of life on the farm and suggesting that one day the boy will go back there to live. Moser's watercolors vigorously render the faces of the protagonists;they look like the hard-working folk we imagine them to be and add credibility to the portrait Capote has attempted to paint. (September 1)