I am very pleased to announce that I am taking part in my first ever readathon! It will take place over July and August and will feature the writing of none other than Truman Capote. This is a joint readathon with Kirsty of The Literary Sisters.
So why Capote? Kirsty posted a flash review of his first book, Other Voices, Other Rooms, and I commented saying how wonderful it was to see a review of his work. Other than In Cold Blood and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, we both felt that his writing is often overlooked in favour of his reputation and notoriety. He was a prolific short story writer, and wrote several novellas as well as his ‘reportage’ that included essays, travelogues, portraits, and of course the seminal In Cold Blood. I own A Capote Reader, which I bought in 2007/8, and it contains some of the best of his writing, including two novellas, The Grass Harp and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, as well as twelve short stories and a lot of non-fiction writing. I have an old-style silver Penguin Modern Classics edition:
It’s a wonderful book that actually might be good for someone who is new to Capote, as it gives you a taste of pretty much every form of writing that he used. He is brilliant at both fiction and non-fiction, and his writing is both vivid, sharp, and unendingly beautiful. That is why Kirsty and I chose to do this readathon, and try to get his amazing writing out to a wider modern audience.
Our reading will focus mainly on A Capote Reader. It contains a good broad scope of his writing and we felt it was the perfect basis for our readathon. In July we will be reading one of the novellas, The Grass Harp, as well as the first six short stories. In August we will be reading the other novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and the second six short stories. We are also going to read one standalone novel, Summer Crossing. The novel was only discovered in 2005 and was written before any of Capote’s other famous work, including his ‘official’ first novel Other Voices, Other Rooms. I read Summer Crossing some years ago and am very much looking forward to revisiting it. I’ve also just discovered that it is being made into a film by Scarlett Johansson, so it will be good to re-read before seeing that.
Kirsty and I would very much appreciate our readers ‘spreading the news’ about our readathon and I would love to hear if anyone else is reading some Capote this summer, whether it’s the texts we’re reading or something else. And of course you can read along with us if you like! Kirsty has detailed our schedule here.
The first posts will be up on 30th July, so keep an eye out for those.