After immersing himself in the darkness of the human soul while writing In Cold Blood, Truman Capote decided to do the opposite and immerse himself in luxury in glitter by throwing the most lavish party ever.
Deborah Davis chronicles from inception to aftermath the night of glamour that was Truman Capote’s black and white masquerade ball, held in the grand ballroom of The Plaza Hotel.
Davis’s book is detailed, interesting and does it’s best in it’s short pages to give context to Capote’s mania about the party, dealing as everything about Capote does, with his relationship to his mother, his outsider/insider status and his keen observation of the human condition.
But mostly, the book is gossip, about the “swans,” Truman’s rich lady friends and their marriages. About Capote himself and his motives for throwing the party. It’s also something of a time capsule, and wholly appropriate reading as Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood swims around in my brain, as it deals with a similar idea, the end of one era and the birth of the other and the way those two moment have to coincide in a melancholic burst of light.
The book is fun and dishy and interesting. It also reminded me that I really need to read more Capote, as I’ve only really read Breakfast At Tiffany’s. (Other Voices, Other Rooms seems particularly up my alley!) And the way the voices carry.
Up next is Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck. I enjoyed The Paris Wife, so I’ll probably like this too. I’m not crazy about Hemingway’s writing but I am fascinated by the man and those around him.