Music for Chameleons
By Truman Capote
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780679745662, 272pp.)
Publication Date: March 29, 1994
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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In these gems of reportage Truman Capote takes true stories and real people and renders them with the stylistic brio we expect from great fiction. Here we encounter an exquisitely preserved Creole aristocrat sipping absinthe in her Martinique salon; an enigmatic killer who sends his victims announcements of their forthcoming demise; and a proper Connecticut householder with a ruinous obsession for a twelve-year-old he has never met. And we meet Capote himself, who, whether he is smoking with his cleaning lady or trading sexual gossip with Marilyn Monroe, remains one of the most elegant, malicious, yet compassionate writers to train his eye on the social fauna of his time.
Truman Capote was a native of New Orleans, where he was born on September 30, 1924. His first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms, was an international literary success when first published in 1948, and accorded the author a prominent place among the writers of America's postwar generation. He sustained this position subsequently with short-story collections (A Tree of Night, among others), novels and novellas (The Grass Harp and Breakfast at Tiffany's), some of the best travel writing of our time (Local Color), profiles and reportage that appeared originally in The New Yorker (The Duke in His Domain and The Muses Are Heard), a true-crime masterpiece (In Cold Blood), several short memiors about his childhood in the South (A Christmas Memory, The Thanksgiving Visitor, and One Christmas), two plays (The Grass Harp and House of Flowers and two films (Beat the devil and The Innocents).
Mr. Capote twice won the O.Henry Memorial Short Story Prize and was a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. He died in August 1984, shortly before his sixtieth birthday.
“Electrifying . . . a knockout. Capote’s alacrity and cunning makes this his most enjoyable book.” —Newsweek
“An incomparable stylist and entertainer . . . clean and cool . . . [with a] superb, near-perfect pitch with dialogue.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Everything is displayed in this book: insights and recollections of the famous and the obscure; old jokes and fresh wit. . . . These stories and vignettes will endure.” —The New Republic