Truman Capote’s Southern Years

Stories from a Monroeville Cousin Marianne M. Moates, Foreword by Ralph F. Voss

Readers are well acquainted with Truman Capote’s meteoric rise to fame and his metamorphosis from literary enfant terrible to literary genius, celebrity author, and dispenser of venomously comic witticisms. It is also well-known that he spent his formative years in the south Alabama hamlet of Monroeville, and that he was abandoned there by his mother to be cared for and then to care for elderly relatives. Yet details of those years have remained sketchy and vague.


In Monroeville young Capote formed significant bonds and played childhood games with his cousin, Jennings Faulk Carter, and next door neighbor, Nelle Harper Lee, author of “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Go Set a Watchman.” Through the tales told by Carter and spun into a fascinating and revealing narrative by Marianne M. Moates readers discover in Truman Capote’s Southern Years the lively imagination and the early tragedies of a brilliant child.


A new foreword by Ralph F. Voss underscores the enduring relevance of Truman Capote’s work and the influence his Alabama childhood had on his work.


Marianne M. Moates is an independent writer from Butler, Alabama. Ralph F. Voss is the author of Truman Capote and the Legacy of “In Cold Blood’” and The Strains of Triumph: A Life of William Inge, among other books.


“A significant contribution to the social history of the era, Truman Capote’s Southern Years is delightfully entertaining reading. While we will never know all the reasons for Capote’s self-destructive nature, Truman Capote’s Southern Years gives us some insight into how and why Capote became what he was, both good and bad.”

—Southern Living


“The young Truman Capote who emerges from these amusing recollections is quick-witted, scheming, mercurial, and a born leader in mischievous escapades.”

—Publishers Weekly



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