Truman Capote would have been 90 on September 30 had he not died in 1984 from liver failure just a month prior to his 60th birthday. In honor of Capote, Chicago radio station WFMT dug up an old recording of him reading aloud the first chapter of the then unfinished novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s. (Holly’s name is Connie in this version). Listening to him read, I was struck by his great sense of theatricality and the ease with which he plays both the shy, unnamed writer character and the bombastic, unapologetic Holly Golightly. It hadn’t occurred to me before how much he was both those characters - the insecure, struggling Truman Streckfus Persons hiding behind the superficial, wildly social Truman Capote.
And what a writer. The whole book feels like reading a little poem.
"With all it’s gloom, it was still a place of my own, the first, and my books were there and jars of pencils to sharpen, everything I needed, so I felt, to become the writer I wanted to be."
Take a listen here. If only to hear lines like this from the man himself.