Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Truman Capote

On our Spring break travels through southern Alabama, we stopped in Monroeville, hometown to Harper Lee and Truman Capote.

Capote was never on my radar screen as a child. I might have come across the name in the last couple of years of high-school but really my first awareness probably only occurred in college and then only as some vestigial writer whom some friend recommended that I eventually some day ought to read. Years later, I came across a number of references to Capote's seminal In Cold Blood and I had that book parked on my mental check-list as I periodically scan local used book stores but I had never come across it in passively looking over the past couple of years.

In Monroeville you can of course find just about anything by and about either Lee or Capote. In the court house bookstore I picked up both In Cold Blood as well as a collection, The Complete Stories of Truman Capote.

Having just finished In Cold Blood I can vouch for it being well worth reading and probably particulalry attractive to young adults (15-18) interested in crime, mystery, true crime, and the nature of good and evil. Styled as a literary work of non-ficition, the story itself is fascinating but you can see the marks of a fine writer all over the tale.

Describing the bleakness and loneliness of a prairie winter:
A month passed, and another, and it snowed some part of almost every day. Snow whitened the wheat-tawny countryside, heaped the streets of the town, hushed them.

And the closing lines of this sad, tragic story:
Then, starting home, he walked toward the trees, and under them, leaving behind him the big sky, the whisper of wind voices in the wind-bent wheat.

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