From the Modern Library’s new set of beautifully repackaged hardcover classics by Truman Capote—also available are In Cold Blood, Portraits and Observations, and The Complete Stories
Together in one volume, here are a pair of literary touchstones from Truman Capote’s extraordinary early career: the transcendently popular novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Other Voices, Other Rooms, the debut novel he published as a twenty-three-year-old prodigy.
Of all his characters, Capote once said, Holly Golightly was his favorite. The hillbilly-turned-Manhattanite at the center of Breakfast at Tiffany’s shares not only the author’s philosophy of freedom but also his fears and anxieties. For Holly, the cure is to jump into a taxi and head for Tiffany’s; nothing bad could happen, she believes, amid “that lovely smell of silver and alligator wallets.”
Other Voices, Other Rooms begins as thirteen-year-old Joel Knox, after losing his mother, is sent from New Orleans to rural Alabama to live with his estranged father—who is nowhere to be found. Instead, Joel meets his eccentric family and finds a kindred spirit in a defiant little girl. Despite its themes of waylaid hopes and lost innocence, this semiautobiographical coming-of-age novel revels in small pleasures and the colorful language of its time and place.