it hot Title: Summer Crossing
Author: Truman Capote
Publisher: Modern Library
Breakfast at Tiffany’s author
Truman Capote died in 1984, but has recently become hot stuff all
over again, mainly because the recent Hollywood
movie but partly because of the resurfacing of the lost draft of his
first novel Summer Crossing.
Capote was always as much a phenomenon as a spinner of fine prose. Capote
the movie depicts the man researching the novel In Cold Blood that started
a whole new genre, the fictionalised true story. Capote was also a society
socialite and consumer of large quantities of drink and drugs. Toward the
end of his life was publishing little and popping up on chat shows as one
of those celebs who is famous for being famous.
When he died, Gore Vidal remarked, “Good career move”.
Summer Crossing was written when the lad was barely out of his teens but
somehow the manuscript was mislaid.
We follow 17 year-old Grady McNeill, daughter to rich parents with an apartment
on Fifth Avenue, around the beloved city. She is fuelled by booze and marijuana
and is determined to mine New York for all the adventure it holds in a
celebration of her freedom, a freedom that her parents think she is incapable
of handling. She meets a car park attendant called Clyde, a guy from the
other side of the tracks, and ends up in the sack and then hangs with his
working class family and friends. Summer Crossing is poem based on character
and evocation, and given the age of its author is quite remarkable.